Wussy Bio

Springing forth from the hinterlands of Cincinnati, OH are Wussy, an American five-piece fronted by songwriters Chuck Cleaver and Lisa Walker and backed by Mark Messerly, Joe Klug and John Erhardt. Bridging the gap between The Band and Sonic Youth, Wussy continue in the tradition of bands with multiple writers and singers. Cleaver and Walker offer radically different perspectives, both lyrically and vocally, that blend in seamless fashion – usually blanketed inside layers of noise. The band typically plays loud rock and roll heavily influenced by late 60’s pop and psychedelica, as well as seminal 70’s songwriters from John Cale to John Prine.

They formed in 2001 as a result of an impromptu performance, and even now are known among the press and their cult following for their spirited, off-the-cuff live shows. While more mainstream success remains elusive, Wussy are a true critics band – racking up multiple plaudits from Rolling Stone, NPR, BBC, New York Times, Spin, Washington Post, Magnet, The Guardian, Village Voice, Uncut and many more.

Wussy have toured the US and UK extensively, including several festival appearances (SXSW, Nelsonville, CMJ, Midpoint, Bunbury, Twangfest) and live sessions for BBC6 Radio, KEXP (Seattle), KDHX (St. Louis) and KUT (Austin). They also offered recent support for several tours including for fellow Ohioans Afghan Whigs and Heartless Bastards – as well as one-off shows with Yo La Tengo, The Breeders, Best Coast, Mudhoney, Shonen Knife, Okkervil River, The Mekons, COME, Wreckless Eric, and K Records founder Calvin Johnson.

Their fifth full-lenth is Attica! Out May 6 in the US on Shake It Records and May 5 in the UK on Damnably.

Recommended if you like… Yo La Tengo, Buffalo Springfield, Nancy and Lee, Jesus & Mary Chain, The Byrds, Unrest, Weakerthans, New Pornographers, Ass Ponys

Band Members

Chuck Cleaver (guitar, vocals)
Lisa Walker (guitar, vocals)
Mark Messerly (bass)
Joe Klug (drums
John Erhardt (pedal steel)
additionally….we all sing backup, play keyboards, vibes, the occasional extra guitar, etc, etc

Wussy – Attica!
Shake It (US) / Damnably (UK)
Out May 6, 2014 – US / May 5, 2014 – UK

Listing (Words, Music):

1. Teenage Wasteland (Walker, Wussy)
2. Rainbows and Butterflies (Cleaver, Wussy)
3. Bug (Walker / Cleaver, Wussy)
4. North Sea Girls (Walker, Wussy)
5. Acetylene (Cleaver, Wussy)
6. To the Lightning (Cleaver / Walker, Wussy)
7. Halloween (Walker, Wussy)
8. Gene, I Dream (Cleaver, Wussy)
9. Attica! (Walker, Wussy)
10. Home (Cleaver, Wussy)
11. Beautiful (Cleaver, Wussy)

Recent Press

“Imagine a Yo La Tengo too tight to get cute or far out, dispensing a Velvet Underground derivative, fluent enough to warm the erectile tissue of anyone with a thing for guitar drones.” – Rolling Stone 4/5

“I consider Wussy the best band in America..I like or love — no, make that love or really like — just about every one of the 46 songs on those five albums: Funeral Dress, followed by Left for Dead, Wussy, the unplugged start-to-finish remake Funeral Dress II, and Strawberry. We’re talking Beatles-Stones consistency here.” – Robert Christgau

“Recalling a roll call of adventurous boy/girl-styled indie bands – Yo La Tengo, Handsome Family, X – Wussy draws on plenty of yin/yang sexual and existential tension, a charmingly shambling, rough-hewn sound, and an army of alternately droning and jangling guitars on their sharpest outing yet.” – Uncut 4/5

“An unmistakable identity…this collection proves that Wussy are certainly a band with an incredibly rich past and, undoubtedly, an equally rich future.” – BBC

“Few bands since the Velvet-steeped heyday of the Feelies, Yo La Tengo and R.E.M. have abandoned themselves so completely to the ebbing, flowing currents of keening, droning guitars.” – NPR Song of the Day

“Wussy is a weird and wonderful band with a capital B. Strawberry distils down the best parts of all the parties involved to make their first truly classic record, one that will be talked about at length this year and for many more to come.” – SPIN

“Cincinnati’s Wussy falls under the category of a “Best Band You’ve Never Heard Of” but should make it your business to get acquainted with..” 8/10 – Blurt Online

“Mindful drone-rockers from Ohio are alternately terse and liquiform in all the right places” – New York Times

“A truly classic record, one that will be talked about at length this year and for many more to come” 8/10 – Pop Matters

“The first nine of the seventeen songs on offer here are actually flawless: memorable tracks seem to come by the bucketload, and after the first play of each you could easily be convinced that they’ve been with you forever.” 5/5 – Artrocker


  • 2005 – Funeral Dress (Shake It)
  • 2007 – Left for Dead (Shake It)
  • 2008 – Rigor Mortis EP (Shake It)
  • 2009 – Wussy (Shake It)
  • 2009 – “Fly Fly Fly”/”No Apologoy” – Wussy / The Fervor (Karate Body)
  • 2011 – Funeral Dress II (Shake It)
  • 2011 – Strawberry (Shake It)
  • 2012 – Buckeye (Damnably)
  • 2012 – Dangerous Highway 45″  – Heartless Bastards / Wussy (Shake It)
  • 2013 – ..Popular Favorites (Download EP)
  • 2014 – Attica! (Shake It / Damnably)
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