Tag: Cincinnati

Initially began as a solo recording project of Cincinnati, OH-based singer/songwriter Michael Oliva, The Harlequins became a fully-fleshed out band when Oliva met and recruited bassist Alex Stenard in 2006 and drummer Rob Stamler in 2008. Since 2008, the trio have self-released five full-length albums that revealed a band that specialized in a garage rock/psych rock sound wth elements of punk rock, surfer rock and krautrock — and  as a result, the Cincinnati-based trio have played sets at SXSW, Bunbury Music Festival and Midpoint Music Festival, as well as receiving praise from a number of major websites including The Onion‘s AV ClubExclaim!Performer Magazine, Vice’s Noisey and others. Additionally, the band has developed a reputation for energetic live shows paired with light displays; in fact, after the release and tour to support 2013’s Sex Change EP, the trio signed with Dizzybird Records and spent the better part of 2015 writing, revising and then recording the material, which would comprise their recently released label debut, One With You.

One With You‘s latest single “Hear Me Out” will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting noisy, infectious and anthemic garage/surfer punk as scuzzy guitar chords are paired with a propulsive and driving rhythm section, an uncannily mischievous sense of melody and howled and sung vocals fed through effects pedals. Sonically, the song bears an uncanny resemblance to Crocodiles‘ Crimes of Passion as it does to Raccoon Fighter, as it possesses a wild, unabated passion that almost takes the song completely off the rails — but while still remaining breezy.


Comprised of Chuck Cleaver (vocals, guitar), Lisa Walker (vocals, guitar), Mark Messerly (bass, keys), John Erhardt (pedal steel, guitar), and Joe Klug (drums), Cincinnati, OH-based shoegaze quintet Wussy can trace their origins to when the band’s founding members and primary songwriters Chuck Cleaver, formerly of Ass Ponys and Lisa Walker began to perform together on what was supposed to be a brief run of solo shows for Cleaver back in 2001. The first show Cleaver and Walker played together was largely unplanned and went without incident, so they agreed to continue and expand the band. The band’s first drummer Dawn Burman and Meserly were recruited and joined the band in 2002 and the quartet released three full-length efforts and an EP that received praise from a number of media outlets including Rolling StoneSPINVillage Voice, NPRThe Washington PostUncut and the legendary Robert Christgau, who placed the Cincinnati quintet’s first two efforts Funeral Dress and Left for Dead on his best of the decade list and their third, self-titled release on his best of 2009 list.

After quickly achieving critical success, the band went through a lineup change as Burman left and was replaced with Cincinnati music scene vet, Joe Klug with whom the recorded Attica! and their sixth and most recent effort, Forever Sounds, which was released last month through Shake It/Damnably Records. The quintet recently released subtly shoegazey cover of Joy Division/New Order‘s “Ceremony” which retains the spirit of the original while adding layers upon layers of reverb drenched guitars with the boy/girl harmonies of Cleaver and Walker throughout. Interestingly, Cleaver and Walker’s harmonies bring the swooning Romantic urgency of the song out into the forefront. But perhaps more important, it’s a reminder of how a timeless song can reverberate a generation or two after its initial release.

Check out how the Wussy cover compares to the Joy Division original below.