Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Wussy: Funeral Dress [Shake It, 2005]
In which Chuck Cleaver--Ass Ponys, you remember, they still play out around Cincinnati--joins unknown Lisa Walker, multi-instrumentalist Mark Messerly, and amateur drummer Dawn Burman for 11 three-minute songs, all about perfect, one after the other after the other. Small, but about perfect, with Walker handling the human detail and Cleaver tossing off metaphors--a sideshow horse, a shunt to drain the fear from his brain. It's an ideal partnership--vocally and lyrically, Walker grounds the old guy and he lifts her. The band sound is more Velvets than Burritos, yet country still. It's as if they've reduced all of white Ohio to an articulated drone, unlocked a silo or warehouse of hummable tunes, and worked out the harmonies. A