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 Stone, SPIN, Village Voice, NPR, The Washington Post, Uncut 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.