Album Review

Wussy - Funeral Dress

Wussy - Funeral Dress

Its hard to know whether the Ass Ponys broke up or gave up, but they gave the thing every possible shot before their day was over. Six albums, including a stint on A&M. National van tours, a little critical adulation, decent notices, but its not like we were really going to hear Chuck Cleavers peculiar voice (much less his songs) on the radio. And hard to know which was more idiosyncratic, the high, drifting sound he made singing or the songs he wrote. Wussy is his new band: two men, two women, vocals split between Cleaver and Lisa Walker, songwriting credits split all around. So its not really his band, but their band, and his is just one of the instruments at play. And for all their mordant tones, these songs really are fun. OK, so the opening Airborne is a divorce set-piece with what seem knowing nods to X, though Walker is a much more adept singer than Exene Cervenka and Cleaver sounds nothing like John Doe. And the next one, Funeral Dress, has guitar sounds straight from Blondie, and Soak It Up is really sprightly until you realize Walkers singing but I never thought I could drive this far without a gun. It goes like that. Walker has a flexible voice that fits nicely around Cleavers harmonies, and the whole band sounds like they know exactly what theyre doing. Whatever it is. Whatever theyre doing, it works.