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 several albums and EPs 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.
Wussy releases its fourth full-length Strawberry in November 2011. Recorded and mixed by John Curley (Afghan Whigs) at Cincinnati’s Ultrasuede Studios, Strawberry marks a decided turn in trajectory for the band. The first with Klug as drummer and co-producer, this album places greater emphasis on song structure and arrangement than previous eff orts – while still holding fast to the band’s signature midwestern drone. The end result is their most cohesive release to-date, with an underpinning of churning guitars acting as the rudder of the small but mighty Wussy vessel.
Their work has met with critical praise from 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. – last.fm