Wednesday, July 26, 2017 This Week's Paper

CD Review: Wussy - “Strawberry”

On their fourth release, Wussy has created a solid album that brings back the best classic rock has to offer – oddball lyrics, complex guitar work and unique vocals – in the 11-track studio album “Strawberry.”

The five-piece band is comprised of ex-Ass Ponys frontman Chuck Cleaver (guitar, vocals), Lisa Walker (guitar, vocals), Mark Messerly (bass, keyboards), Joe Klug (drums, keyboards) and John Erhardt (pedal steel).

Hailed by the Village Voice as Cincinnati’s best-kept secret, the band has consistently received critical praise from Rolling Stone, Spin, National Public Radio, New York Times and more. Since the band formed in 2005, they have continued to produce solid records that more than earn such praise.

Cleaver and Walker began playing together in 2001 as a result of Cleaver’s stage fright when asked to perform a run of solo shows. After the first few shows went off without a hitch, the duo continued to perform together, until eventually forming the current five-piece rock outfit.

The album’s leadoff track “Asteroids” draws the listener in with smooth guitars and gritty vocals.

The pounding second track “Pulverized” picks up the pace, bringing in elements of old-school punk that is hard to find in a lot of rock bands these days.

“Waiting Room” features Walker’s sultry vocals and melancholy lyrics describing the end of a relationship. “Sad Midwestern Baptist girl writes sorry on the mirror/ crying in the bathroom on the first night of the honeymoon.”

Similar stories of love and loss are found throughout the album, in melancholy tracks and high-energy, angst-ridden songs alike.

The amount of consistent praise Wussy has received is well deserved. The band is currently on tour in the U.S. and the U.K., making a stop in Tacoma June 16 at the Mandolin Café. The show starts at 6 p.m., and tickets are available at for $5.