The Cincinnati-based quartet Wussy continue to make a strangely attractive racket on their third album. Still co-led by singer/songwriters Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker, the band often sounds like it's trying for roots rock and missing -- not that there's anything wrong with that. "Gone Missing" evokes the Primitives with its tuneful but rough-edged guitar jangle; "Dreadful Sorry" is constructed like a country weeper with bipolar disorder, what with its aggressively rockish guitar draped all over the slide guitar and mandolin. Both "This Will Not End Well" and "Death by Misadventure" feature basslines that owe royalties to R.E.M.'s Mike Mills -- though it's doubtful that he (or anyone else) would want to claim credit for the line "It's kindergarten, and you're jumping on a dead and bloated horse." This all adds up to lots of good fun, but the problem is Cleaver's vocals, which are sometimes charmingly plainspoken and sometimes annoyingly goofy. When Walker is in front everything seems to work that much better, largely because of her more attractive vocal qualities. Cleaver does have his moments, though, notably on a fine midtempo rocker titled "Magic Words." (And if you want more cowbell, check out the equally fine "Scream & Scream Again").
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson