Music » Critics' Picks

Wussy

9 p.m., Friday, August 7. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.

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In the '90s, Chuck Cleaver sang with the Ass Ponys, a little pop band that crossed R.E.M.'s mystic mumbles and Southern lilt with Pavement's slacker-country vibe. (Its biggest hit? The honky-tonk indie-wonk "Little Bastard.") But in 2001, the Cincinnati resident formed Wussy with vocalist/songwriter Lisa Walker. The contrast between their voices — Cleaver's Isaac Brock-with-mental-clarity rumble and Walker's worldly antique croon — and muted-jangle guitars helps the quartet's music veer toward traditional '80s power pop and fuzzy college rock. 2007's Left for Dead and this year's self-titled release spotlight the pair's ability to craft out-of-time songs. The chorus of Dead's soft-focus pop gem "Sun Giant Says Hey" beams like afternoon sun, while Wussy's "Gone Missing" sounds like a lost cut from early '80s Athens, Georgia.

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