“I like this one better”, says Mrs. Jaybee. Sacrilegious! But I’ve already gotten ahead of myself.
It was the low point of the year. When I was huddled up inside the house because the weather was so oppressive and I was suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.
I was grudgingly enjoying the music I was listening to but nothing was hitting me over the head immediately. And by this point I was now sort of desperate to get to something that would hit me in my bones. All I wanted was something that would grab me from the very first listen. Was that so much to ask? Why can’t I ever just put a new record on and get blown away from the get go?
So I went with a band that had done exactly that back in oh, 2006, with their last decade's almost best debut album Funeral Dress.
Alas, this one is barely in the top ten of this year.
Wussy: Attica! (2014)
This is a very good record, but a disappointment in the way that a band that’s made a great album in the past can disappoint you when they only make a very good one.
Funeral Dress was an obviously great album from the very first listen. This one isn’t and as such I was very disappointed. But over time it’s showing it’s strengths, which are many. And there are even a couple of new classics. It just took time to believe they were genuine. They are.
So back to Mrs. Jaybee.
It had been a couple of months since I got Attica!. I was liking it by now and giving it another perfunctory try so that it might move from like to love.
That’s when she told me she preferred it to Funeral Dress. I mean, what the f*ck? I know we’re in this “for better or worse”, but I wasn’t counting on a musical difference of opinion of this magnitude!
So, who are these guys, anyway? Allmusic.com is no help, with barely a bio or an album write up.
But what I do know is that Chuck Cleaver came from a 90s rock band called the Ass Ponys, and Lisa Walker sprung from the head of Zeus for all I know. But she sings and writes like vintage Neil Young.
And herein may lie my problem. Funeral Dress managed to be simultaneously rough and beautiful a la the aforementioned NY. But Attica! ups the ante with the rough - the guitars are even louder than before - and it takes time for the songs to catch up.
But I have no doubt that someone who gets this record without having heard anything else by Wussy will be quite happy with it.
And with Neil Young no longer in his prime, we could do a lot worse than Wussy.
Lisa would do him proud. I hope he gets to hear her.