If someone was to show me the cover art of Wussy’s Attica and ask what kind of music I was expecting from it, and tell them to mind their own business. Then I’d feel guilty about the shortness of my reply, apologise and look at the cover of their album and declare it looks the kind of record that would contain some post modern bullshit where hipsters take all the fun out of guitar pop and/or pop punk. Would I be right? Lets find out, shall we?
When you’ve got a great front person, the best thing a band can do is stay out of their way. And that’s what you get with Wussy. Not that the band isn’t doing plenty of their own interesting things musically, but on a song like Teenage Wasteland, the charisma and passion in Lisa Walker’s vocals are so palpable, the instrumentation simply backs her up, making sure she stays front and centre all the way.
When Chuck Cleaver gets his shot behind the mic up next on Rainbows & Butterflies, it’s like he knows he has a lot to live up to after Walker’s effort, and he delivers. While the previous song was about a loose rock and roll groove, Rainbows & Butterflies is straight as an arrow in its rock and roll drive.
Wussy layer on the darkness and creepiness with the haunting Bug, while it’s time for some finger pickin’, piano tinklin’ folkie sweetness on North Sea Girls. It’s a complete 180 to everything established in the first few songs of Attica and it’s a jarring 180 that works perfectly. Replace the folk with some country twang, and you get Acetylene.
The boot stomping drive and pedal steel slide of Gene, I Dream finds plenty of light and shade, oscillating from loud and full of intent, to moment of reflection and light. Bringing this record home, Attica! and Home find plenty of ways wring out the passion without restoring to in your face tempos or volume, while Beautiful combines the best of Walker and Cleaver’s vocal strengths to make the perfect climax of Attica. They share vocals on plenty of songs before now, but Beautiful seems the most obviously written as a duet.
Wow, do I have egg on my face. Mainly because I just ate a plate of eggs with reckless abandon. But also, because my preconceptions of this album were so wrong. Wussy and Attica couldn’t be further from post modern bullshit where hipsters take all the fun out of guitar pop and/or pop punk. Opening with an electric darkness, then settling into a more traditional country/rock/folk vibe, Attica is too legit and faithful to its influences to be a pretentious post modern take on anything. And I love it.