Column - Blink & you'll miss it. Five great musical hopes who imploded after only one record
Wu Lyf - winners of best new band at the 2011 Q Awards (above) - first appeared in the spring of 2010, cloaked by a smokescreen of masked press shots, cabal-like decrees and esoteric websites, not to mention a handful of enticing MP3s. By the summer of 2011, having whipped up quite a noise in the press, they finally outed themselves as a young, Mancunian four piece that played what was to be described by them as heavy pop. Their debut album, Go Tell Fire To The Mountain was undoubtedly a spanking record of rousing, churchly art-rock; a heart-lifting indication of what these roguish indie kids could've potentially achieved, had they had time to flourish.
However it now appears as though they might already be bowing out. On Friday 23 November, frontman Ellery Roberts, via an open letter that accompanied the debut of new song Triumph on YouTube, quit the band. "WU LYF is dead to me. The sincerity of Go Tell Fire was lost in the bullshit of maintaining face in the world we live," he wrote, though fittingly considering the band's trademark elusive fashion, the track and the message have since been deleted.
In light of their career foreshortening, we take a quick glance at five other artists who promised much with their debut album, but threw in the towel, disappeared or died before they could get round to making a second.
The Sex Pistols
They lasted but two and a half fast-and-furious years, producing in that time just the one album. Nevertheless, with Never Mind The Bollocks, The Sex Pistols became unrepentant game changers and punk icons. The album, released October 1977 cemented them as one of the most notorious bands in British pop culture.
Despite his huge posthumous catalogue of unreleased material, Jeff Buckley only ever released one album to which he personally gave the go ahead. Released August 1994, Grace was a gloriously haunting fusion of rock, classical and folk which garnered widespread acclaim. While working on his second album, My Sweetheart The Drunk the angel-voiced singer drowned in the Wolf River, Memphis, during a spontaneous evening swim.
The London-based shoegaze rockers showed a hell of a lot of potential with the release of Finelines, which made it to no 24 in the UK album charts in March 2001. Their heady, melodic blend of grunge and shoegaze gained them touring slots with the likes of A Perfect Circle and Deftones and even landed them a slot on Top Of The Pops. They followed up Finelines with a B-sides and remix album in the shape of Between The Lines and a decidedly lacklustre EP, A Pyrrhic Victory, released in 2007. Since then, they've more or less gone AWOL.
Picking up the baton from The Smiths, The Las created sweet jangle pop and one of the most iconic guitar picks in all of indie with There She Goes. The core of the band was Lee Mavers and John Power (the latter went on to form Cast) and it took them almost five years to come up with their debut self-titled album, which enjoyed modest commercial success. Lee Mavers has since popped in and out of public view, and despite odd gigs, a stated desire to re-record the first album and rumours of work on a second, nothing has materialised.
Life Without Buildings
The dawn of the 21st century saw a slew of mind-blowing rock albums hammered out by bad-ass, high-end craftsmen and women (see Queens Of The Stone Age's Rated R, At The Drive In's Relationships Of Command and My Vitriol's Finelines). In 2001, Glasgow's Life Without Buildings added to this abundance of quality rock music, releasing the artful and addictive Any Other City - although sadly it was largely overlooked. At the time, nothing else sounded quite like it, with its rattling lo-fi rhythms and singer Sue Tompkins' unforgettably twisting, gabbled streams of consciousness.
Jamie Skey @jamie_skey
11:00 AM | 06/12/2012
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