Wussy is a four-piece rock and roll band comprised of ex-Ass Ponys frontman Chuck Cleaver (guitar, vocals), Lisa Walker (guitar, vocals), Mark Messerly (bass, keyboards) and Joe Klug (drums). They formed in Cincinnati, Ohio in the early 2000’s with original drummer Dawn Burman.
Cleaver and Walker began playing together in 2001 as a result of Cleaver’s stage fright when asked to perform a brief run of solo shows. The duo’s first performance was largely unplanned and yet went without incident… so they agreed to continue and expand. Mark Messerly joined in 2002 as bassist and utility man, and Dawn Burman joined on drums shortly thereafter. The four-piece has released three full-length albums and one EP on their native Cincinnati’s Shake It label. Klug joined the band shortly after Burman’s departure in early 2009.
The band is known for its use of “an army of alternately droning and jangling guitars” (Uncut 6/09) to offset the traditional three-minute pop format. Lyrics are typically split evenly between Cleaver and Walker.
Their work has met with critical praise from Pitchfork, The Guardian, Rolling Stone and SPIN, both of which gave the band’s second and third albums four stars each, in addition to favorable reviews from Village Voice, NPR, Washington Post, Uncut, and many other press outlets. The “Dean of American Critics” Robert Christgau placed the band’s first two albums (Funeral Dress and Left For Dead) on his Best of the Decade list, and their third album (Wussy) ranked tenth in his best of 2009 Dean’s List. In 2012 Wussy toured North America twice, rocked the KEXP stage at SXSW, toured the UK with American Werewolf Academy, played a session for BBC 6Music’s Marc Riley then joined their friends the Afghan Wigs for a sell out tour. They also released a FREE download album for fans called ‘Berneice Huff and son, Bill sings… Popular Favorites‘
In 2014 the band released their most expansive and cinematic album ‘ATTICA!’ to critical acclaim. The single ‘Teenage Wasteland‘ received world wide radio play including a lot from BBC 6 Music, The band toured America twice with a bunch of SOLD-OUT dates and a 5 song session at KEXP. Wussy struck out in 2014 with press and radio acclaim but the crowning glory was their national TV debut – watch them interviewed by Anthony Mason on CBS This Morning and play ‘Teenage Wasteland‘ ‘Beautiful‘ and ‘Pizza king‘ live to an audience of Millions! Spin Voted “Teenage Wasteland” #55 in 101 Best Songs of 2014 & “Acetylene” scored #26 on 40 Best Country Songs of 2014.
The band also made the grade at The Observer Popmatters, Slate, Pitchfork, AllMusic and Public Radio’s Best In-Studio Performance of 2014 NPR via KEXP here.
7.8 Pitchfork “The album showcases everything Wussy is good at, particularly the band’s portrayal of their fractured homeland. You can see it vividly in the broken-down Pontiacs and frozen lakes and women too poor to take the pill and street drinking and house fires started by cigarettes.”
8/10 Spin “Over the last decade, Cincinnati garage/pop/folk practitioners Wussy have refined a winning formula. Every 15 months or so, they break from full-time jobs (stonemasonry, waitressing, special ed), record a dozen-ish songs, play some clubs, then return to their 9 to 5s. Many an indie band can claim a similar bio, but few match the songwriting consistency of former Ass Pony Chuck Cleaver and formerly unaffiliated Lisa Walker.”
5/5 Artrocker “I’m suprised Wussy are not more maistream. If they’re producing music as beautiful and well constructed as that featured on this newest album-then everyone should be aware of and appreciate their talent.”
Guardian: “Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker find a novel way to attack subjects as tried and tested as flings and break-ups”
Americana UK: “one of the finest releases of the year” 9/10
Clash: “There is something strangely unique about their own blend of country tinged grunge pop, combining spiky guitars with some sweet harmonies” 8/10
The Line Of Best Fit: “evokes the golden age of first-gen indie, grunge and alt.country”
Artrocker: “Both singer-songwriter-guitarists Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker are experts at their craft and their amalgamation of Velvet Underground drones, fuzzy college rock, indiepop and alt country is simply sublime.” 5/5
Skinny: “a band deserving widespread laudation” 4/5
BBC Music: “Wussy are certainly a band with an incredibly rich past and, undoubtedly, an equally rich future.”
Keep Pop Alive Track of the Week
Gideon Coe: BBC 6Music: ‘Buckeye’ Recommended Album’s list 2012
Marc Riley: BBC 6Music ‘Maglite’ Best songs of 2012 list & Radio Session
Rolling Stone: “ mega-tuneful songs that can get under your skin something fierce ”
Robert Christgau, Barnes & Noble Review: “The best band in America” – 3/16/12
Uncut (UK): “ Recalling a roll call of adventurous boy/girl-styled indie bands – Yo La Tengo, Handsome Family, X – Wussy draws on plenty of yin/yang sexual and existential tension, a charmingly shambling, rough-hewn sound, and an army of alternately droning and jangling guitars on their sharpest outing yet. ”
NY Times: “Mindful drone-rockers from Ohio are alternately terse and liquiform in all the right places” – 3/1/12
Pop Matters: 8/10 Stars -“A truly classic record, one that will be talked about at length this year and for many more to come” – 3/23/12
Village Voice: ” Now three albums into a cult career so undeserved that it makes you question not just the music biz but greater cosmic matters. “
Washington Post: “ Few bands since the Velvet-steeped heyday of the Feelies, Yo La Tengo and R.E.M. have abandoned themselves so completely to the ebbing, flowing currents of keening, droning guitars. ”
Check back soon for upcoming shows.
|01 Oct 2012 http://www.damnably.com||Wussy in London||Cargo||UK|
|30 Sep 2012 http://www.damnably.com||Wussy in Ramsgate||Caboose Cafe||UK|
|29 Sep 2012 http://www.damnably.com||Wussy in Brighton||Green Door||UK|
|28 Sep 2012 http://www.damnably.com||Wussy in London||Charlie Wrights||UK|
|27 Sep 2012 http://www.damnably.com||Wussy in Hull||Adelphi Club||UK|
|25 Sep 2012 http://www.damnably.com||Wussy in Leicester||The Musician||UK|
|24 Sep 2012 http://www.damnably.com||Wussy in Oxford||Truck Music Store||UK|
|23 Sep 2012 http://www.damnably.com||Wussy in Bristol||The Croft||UK|
|22 Sep 2012 http://www.damnably.com||Wussy in Cardiff||Undertone||UK|
|21 Sep 2012 http://www.damnably.com||Wussy in Wakefield||The Hop||UK|
|20 Sep 2012 http://www.damnably.com||Wussy in York||Stereo||UK|
|19 Sep 2012 http://www.damnably.com||Wussy in London||The Windmill||UK|