OK, so just who the Hell is Wussy? Let me tell you, Wussy is a five-piece band and they hail from Cincinnati, Ohio in the American Midwest. Sure, the name doesn’t exactly inspire confidence but it apparently looks good on a T-shirt. Well, it seems they have been around for nigh on 20 years now and have released seven studio albums in that time. So how come I have never even heard of them before?
Taking a chance this Friday night purely on the basis that Joe Coates of the estimable local promotion company Please Please You and a man of vast musical knowledge and equally discerning taste, hardly ever – in fact, never – gets it wrong.
A few songs in, though, and I was starting to question that assertion, if only ever so slightly. The sound was loose, ramshackle at best, though it wasn’t without its dilapidated charm. Maybe the sold-out show the previous night in Manchester had taken an emotional toll? But then something just clicked into place. It was so imperceptible I couldn’t even tell you exactly when it was, but thinking about it some more now it was probably somewhere around ‘Gene, I Dream’ (from their fifth album, the 2014 release Attica!) or the ensuing ‘Nope’, one of a half a dozen songs they play tonight from their latest long-player, What Heaven Is Like.
Released only last week, What Heaven Is Like is based, in part, on the American television series, Fargo. And much like that anthology, upon repeated listens the new record contains unfathomable riches, an often astonishing wealth of grit and beauty. In this respect the second and final encore of ‘Aliens In Our Midst’ – a gnarled cover of the Twinkeyz’ late 70’s garage-rocker – falls into the former category, whilst ‘Gloria’ – as gorgeous a melodic pop gem as you are likely to find this side of Christmas – fits snugly into the latter.
Wussy comprises Chuck Cleaver (vocals/guitar), Lisa Walker (vocals/guitar), John Erhardt (pedal steel), Joe Klug (drums) and Mark Messerly (bass) and much relies on the creative dynamic between Cleaver and Walker. Their voices dovetail together in occasionally uneasy harmony, but when they do fully coalesce – as is most surely the case on a beautiful ‘Airborne’ – they do so to quite stunning effect. And having now fully established just exactly who they are, Wussy is a band I am not likely to easily forget.
Gig photos: Simon Godley
More photos from this show can be found HERE