What is a recording artist to do once named “best band in America”? If you are Ohio’s Wussy, you drop an atom bomb your last recording (2014’s Attica!) and build upon that sound instead of what got you to the throne in the first place. For most acts, this would not be a wise career choice. In the case of Forever Sounds, Wussy’s latest release, Lisa Walker’s poignant poetry remains, as does Chuck Cleaver’s lyrical games of cryptology. Both now existing in a cosmic slurry of low end amplification and guitar effects.
Heading from Kashmir to Kansas on sawing opener “Dropping Houses,” a whirlwind of tainted love and Toynbee tiles, Walker’s gorgeous vocals are a guiding hand through Edward Hopper’s Rooms by the Sea, promising “you fall just like a feather” as ET defeats Truman on “Majestic-12”.
Examining strained relations, the hollow victory of “Hello, I’m a Ghost” with its “It may be wrapped up and tied with a bow / But it isn’t a gift” lasts only momentarily on the jumping off place of “Better Days”, with Cleaver and Walker trading gossamer verses over John Erhardt’s pedal steel swells, positing “These are the better days … or not.”
Getting downright apocalyptical on the V8-powered “Gone” and the fire and brimstone of “Hand of God”, death is no more pointed on Forever Sounds than with “Donny’s Death Scene,” a sublime retelling of the absurdist death and eulogy of Steve Buscemi’s third wheel character from The Big Lebowski, with Walker alchemizing farce into pathos.
Should one question Wussy’s drastic musical shift, look to closing dirge “My Parade,” where the dark skies of monotony are parted, giving way to the pomp and circumstance of a victory lap. Failing to implode by its own collective hand, Forever Sounds spans further into the ether with Wussy again distancing itself from its nearest indie rock competitors.
Released today on Shake It Records (US) and Damnably (Europe), you can stream/purchase Wussy’s Forever Sounds and watch the video for “She’s Killed Hundreds” with its Spy vs. Spy tale of fruitless espionage below.