SXSW 2012, Day 1: Wussy

photo by Jim Bennett

Cincinnati band Wussy was formed by Lisa Walker and former Ass Ponys member Chuck Cleaver in 2001. Their fourth full-length album, Strawberry, was released in November of 2011 on Shake It Records and features today’s KEXP Song of the Day, “Pulverized.” Led by the vocals of both Walker and Cleaver, Wussy embody the droning, reverberating sound typical to Midwestern indie rock, while at the same time harkening back to Cleaver’s days in the Ass Ponys. Strawberry is also Wussy’s first album with drummer Joe Klug, who co-produced the album.

Walker and Cleaver, if you’re not familiar with Wussy, are both heavily tattooed, and there was no mistaking who was in the band moments before they took the stage at Mellow Johnny’s. With his long, graying beard and wild hair, Cleaver’s appearance is even more conspicuous, and he even made mention of how he imagines being mistaken for a prospector as he walks the streets of Austin. As for their performance, they rocked every bit as hard as the tightly-packed audience hoped they would, aided by the monster bass lines of Mark Messerley and the powerfully distorted guitars of Cleaver and Walker. Complementing the four-piece was a slide guitar player (also formerly of the Ass Ponys), who was especially effective on “Pizza King,” the standout song of the set that saw Wussy continuously cranking it up a notch just when it seemed impossible to do so. So, yes, Wussy rocked, possibly even surpassing Howler’s set earlier today in sheer noise produced.

Photos by Brittney Bush:

Portrait by Jim Bennett:

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2 Comments

  1. Tracey
    Posted March 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Love Wussy! Great photos!

  2. Paul
    Posted March 19, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Love ‘em. Great show. Great Music. Come to the West Wussy!

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