The brilliant Wussy will get âCD release partiedâ this Friday at the Northside Tavern. The free 10 p.m. show also features Louisvilleâs The Fervor. Wussy â which heads to Cleveland for a release show Saturday â will also do an in-performance at Shake It in Northside Friday at 7 p.m. The album (the third full-length for the band) will be released nationally on April 20. Fridayâs show will also mark the bandâs first with new drummer Joe Klug, formerly of Staggering Statistics (which also featured John Curley, producer of the new disc).
Wussyâs self-titled album is a culmination of everything the band does well â eccentric but grippingly clever wordplay, crafty vocal interplay and dirty, buzzing Pop songs that bubble with soulful energy and heart-baring emotions. While the bandâs last album, Left For Dead, seemed to more showcase the vocal talents of Lisa Walker, she splits and shares duties more evenly with co-frontperson Chuck Cleaver on Wussy.
There is something magical about the duoâs musical partnership, evidenced by the interwoven counter melodies and backups one provides while the other takes the lead. The album also regains some of the rawness of its debut, Funeral Dress, without losing the crispness of Left For Dead. Itâs fitting that this one is self-titled â so far, itâs the definitive Wussy release.
Though often buoyant and upbeat musically, there is a lot of heartbreak seething between the alternately jangly and dirging guitars and utilityman/secret weapon Mark Messerlyâs superb, perfect-fit ornamentation (he offers up everything from accordion and mandolin to bells and lap steel on the disc). Walker and Cleaver are two of the best lyricists in town and on Wussy they shine brighter than ever.
On the shimmering âGone Missing,â one of many highlights, Walker fragilely sings âWe met the other day on the catapult/When they threw us to the dogs, you were at my throat/Itâs funny what you do, do to get my goat/Well, honey, youâre the pain and the antidote.â Meanwhile, Cleaverâs depressive poetics explode on âDeath By Misadventureâ â âThe note you left me on the door said âGo away, Iâm
sleepingâ/And so I leave, but I believe that youâve been entertaining someone else/So I do what I think Iâm supposed to, and I entertain myself.â
Other highlights include the chill-inducing opener, âLittle Paper Birds,â which features the two singers harmonizing over a creepy, creepingly ambient bed of sleepy guitars and lazy beats. The driving, reflective âHappiness Bleedsâ harkens back to some of Cleaverâs trademark imagery in the Ass Ponys (âI remember stumbling down the side of the road/Reeling from the ill effects of licking a toadâ) and features a great bridge which bounces with poppy âla la lasâ that are as leering and sarcastic as they are bubbly.
As with many bands that feature dual vocalists of the opposite sex, thereâs an apparent tension (real or imagined) that manifests itself at times on Wussy. Tension can kill lesser bands, but Wussy has channeled it so masterfully here, it feels like a rebirth. (wussymusic.com)
CONTACT MIKE BREEN: email@example.com