Wednesday, November 7, 2007

CMJ on Wussy

Just saw this CMJ review of Wussy's new CD, as penned by a former Columbus ex-patriot...

WUSSY: Left For Dead
By Eric Davidson

The sweetly sullen sentiments of this Cincinnati band may flow from co-singer Chuck Cleaver's hangover as the leader of one of the most enormously overlooked bands of the early '90s indie rock groundswell: the Ass Ponys. But those days seem comfortably behind him on this, the second and best Wussy album. He's since regenerated his love of grabby college rock-cum-southern Ohio porch strumming with surprisingly focused songwriting and gal/guy vocal weaving. Where the Ass Ponys' melancholia was swaddled in frayed flannel, Wussy slowly unbuttons a sluggishly sexier surrender. And it isn't just the two purty gurl faces in Wussy that bring the mournful beauty of the melodies to the fore. Gorgeously rumpled ruminations like "Mayflies" and "Sun Giant Says Hey" are given their odd attraction as much by Cleaver's high warble as those pretty chords. And if, for fleeting seconds, Left makes one wonder if there is a radio program called Alternative Adult Contemporary, charming chuggers like "Killer Trees" and "What's-His-Name" feel downright forthright in their determination to craft transcendence out of the doomed fate of anyone tagged simply an "indie pop band" anymore. Then a song like "Melody Ranch" brings it all back around to the autumnal jangle that so populated the left end of the radio dial back in the first Bush era. But a lot has happened since, which is why the lyrics dole out the kind of reflective, slightly bitter, more than slightly surreal lyrics that many might think were Guided By Voices, but have been an Ohio scruff-pop standard since Scrawl's also-lost classics of college-town desire, dashed dreams and draft beer.

Tracklist For Left For Dead:
01. Trail Of Sadness
02. Rigor Mortis
03. Mayflies
04. Millie Christine
05. Killer Trees
06. Jonah
07. What's-His-Name
08. Tiny Spiders
09. Sun Giant Says Hey
10. God's Camaro
11. Melody Ranch
12. Vivian Girls

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