Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Morning Show with DJ John Richards, is “Teenage Wasteland” by Wussy from the 2014 album Attica! on Shake It Records.
There’s no two ways about it: Wussy is criminally underappreciated. The Cincinnati band, which formed over a dozen years ago when then Ass Ponys frontman Chuck Cleaver convinced current Wussy co-leader Lisa Walker to join him on stage for a “solo” show, write and perform songs so good that critics no less than the Village Voice’s esteemed Robert Christgau declare them to be “the best band in America”. Yet, the rocking 5-piece are still a working class band whose members take what time they can away from their jobs to record and tour — or take what jobs they can so they can take time to record and tour. Understandably, the songs on Attica!, their new LP, reflect the blue-collar world they’re written in, but they’re so full of raw passion — a yearning for release, a desire to be something or somewhere else, a seeking “parts unknown” — that they transcend place, class and local ideology to become anthems for the dreamers, freaks, and beautiful monsters wherever they’re found. Today’s featured song, the nostalgic “Teenage Wasteland”, finds that passion in their idols of the past — The Who, obviously from the song’s beginning, but just as much Sonic Youth, The Replacements, and other outsiders who break through a shared sense of misery no matter how “far away”. It’s a feeling that cuts to the heart of all music lovers, and if there’s any justice in the world, fans will flock to Wussy after hearing this song and the rest of Attica!.
You can hear more of Attica! right now on Wussy’s Bandcamp page and find out more about the band and where they’re headed next on their website and Facebook page. Also, don’t bass player Mark Messerly’s highly amusing tour blog. Unfortunately, you just missed Wussy in Seattle, but you can listen to their in-studio at KEXP on our Live Performances archive here, and we promise we’ll have live video for you to watch of them next week! For now, check out this another terrific song from Attica!: