OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Gotta go back in time to indie radio in 2007, and then probably not.
LINEUP: Chuck Cleaver, Lisa Walker, Mark Messerly, Dawn Burman
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second album from the group leaves the ghosts of the Ass Ponys behind.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The opening cut, “Trail of Sadness”, resembles the late, great Ass Ponys due the the plaintive voice of Chuck Cleaver, but as soon as “Rigor Mortis” kicks in, this group is now blazing its own trail.
Lisa Walker’s voice takes charge – working well with Cleaver and being assertive on her own. Walker takes charge of the songwriting, with eight cuts of her own, and her voice has become the voice of the band.
If there was any justice in the world, this record would have been spun and spun and spun. There aren’t many flaws, and it’s not ‘out there’ – just a real rock-and-roll record. It’s a shame it has no traction in the marketplace.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The songs may have been inspired by the brief breakup of Cleaver and Walker as a couple.
ARTIST: Wussy TITLE: Funeral Dress YEAR RELEASED: 2005 CHART ACTION: None SINGLES: None OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No. Sorry. LINEUP: Chuck Cleaver, Lisa Walker, Mark Messerly, Dawn Burman WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Former Ass Ponys leader changes direction a bit and instead of corn pone humor, uses a more versatile rock sound to spin his witticisms. Oh, and Walker sings harmonies or lead most of the time, too.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Ass Ponys were a great band for their time, but time and the perils of adulthood ground the band to a halt. Cleaver still had an urge to create, so he and Walker formed Wussy and set about to change his course a little bit.
Gone were most of the country elements – in came an excellent foil for Cleaver in Walker, who sings lead or harmony vocals on most all of the tracks. The sound is broader and more refined than Cleaver’s former band – it may be less fun but he’s still got a way with words.
All in all, this is a band that should be more popular and well known than their little cult and enclave in Cincinnati. This debut is a great start for them.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Cleaver was asked to perform solo at a benefit, and was nervous to do so as he’d always performed with a band before – so he asked Walker to help. They liked the sound so much Wussy was soon formed.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: A-: I’m glad that Cleaver started this band so we can be treated to more of his observations.