Left for Dead | Shake It
By FRANKLIN SOULTS  |  November 27, 2007
3.5 3.5 Stars
Wussy’s 2005 debut, Funeral Dress (also Shake It), was loved wherever it was reviewed, but it wasn’t reviewed much — perhaps in part because its melodic, country-tinged rock was the result of a musical pairing as unlikely as peanut butter and pickles. Old, high-voiced singer and guitarist Chuck Cleaver made his name in the early ’90s fronting major-label casualties the Ass Ponys; young, mid-range singer and guitarist Lisa Walker made her name outside Cincinnati only by hooking up with Cleaver for this project. The pair divided the words and vocals evenly, yet Cleaver’s experience united it all. Now, we’re told, this one-off union has become a life partnership. Walker provides the lyrics and lead vocals for eight of the 12 songs here, sometimes down-tuning her guitar to reach parts of Lohio (an Ass Ponys album title) beyond her partner’s sense of rural dystopia, recalling everything from the anti–Lilith Fair drone of Columbus’s Scrawl to the sexual high drama of Cincinnati’s Afghan Whigs. (Former Whig John Curley produces.) All around Southern Ohio, Walker notices Jesus hanging from the “Killer Trees,” Cleaver sees youngsters driving “God’s Camaro,” and the bedroom’s crowded by “you and me and what’s-his-name.” And despite the travails, it’s all further proof that the “Trail of Sadness” is best traveled in pairs.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , The Afghan Whigs
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