Wussy: 'Rigor Mortis'

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With a name like Wussy you might expect this Cincinnati-based band to have a twee or timid sound. But nothing could be further from the truth. Wussy makes gritty noise rock with raw guitar riffs, machine gun rhythms and bellowing vocals.

Wussy's sophomore release, Left for Dead, was recorded with the band playing together as a group, rather than recording separate tracks independent of one another. The result is a meaty collection of songs with the feel of a garage band always on the verge of spinning out of control.

Singer Karen Walker shines on "Rigor Mortis," with a raspy voice that ranges from soft and subtle to loud and growling. The mix is tempered by guitarist Chuck Cleaver's low, soulful harmonies, though each are set against a stormy mix of noisy, thrashing guitars. It's chaotic at times but still manages to sound melodic.

Walker and Cleaver met during a former musical project. They later acquired Mark Messerly on bass and Dawn Burman on drums. The group is touring this Spring with a top at the 2008 SXSW festival.

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