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Wussy

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Album Review

The Cincinnati-based quartet Wussy continue to make a strangely attractive racket on their third album. Still co-led by singer/songwriters Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker, the band often sounds like it's trying for roots rock and missing — not that there's anything wrong with that. "Gone Missing" evokes the Primitives with its tuneful but rough-edged guitar jangle; "Dreadful Sorry" is constructed like a country weeper with bipolar disorder, what with its aggressively rockish guitar draped all over the slide guitar and mandolin. Both "This Will Not End Well" and "Death by Misadventure" feature basslines that owe royalties to R.E.M.'s Mike Mills — though it's doubtful that he (or anyone else) would want to claim credit for the line "It's kindergarten, and you're jumping on a dead and bloated horse." This all adds up to lots of good fun, but the problem is Cleaver's vocals, which are sometimes charmingly plainspoken and sometimes annoyingly goofy. When Walker is in front everything seems to work that much better, largely because of her more attractive vocal qualities. Cleaver does have his moments, though, notably on a fine midtempo rocker titled "Magic Words." (And if you want more cowbell, check out the equally fine "Scream & Scream Again").

Customer Reviews

Say the magic words....

My least favourite album of theirs but contains my favourite songs. When you set standards as high as they do you get such contradictions.

Biography

Formed: 2000 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Wussy are one of the most celebrated independent bands in the American Midwest, a band whose idiosyncratically thoughtful songs and atmospheric, forceful guitar attack have won them a fervent cult following and a growing stack of rave reviews, even if their acclaim hasn't translated into major financial success (as they were preparing to release their sixth album, the band's members still had their day jobs). Wussy were formed by guitarist and singer Chuck Cleaver, who had enjoyed modest success...
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Wussy, Wussy
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Contemporaries