It’s no wonder that the big garage rock movement of the last 15 years kicked up in San Francisco. It’s a lot easier to jam out in the garage year-round in the California sun than it is in the frigid winters of Madison, Wisconsin. But messy, self-described “trash” rock duo The Hussy have been going the DIY route in their Wisconsin outpost for years now, bearing a thick skin from those cold seasons as well as the expected full-hearted Midwestern sincerity. On Galore, they expand from their humble beginnings, adding bass to the entire record for the first time, as well as more layers and instruments throughout, without losing any of their scrappy charm.
Bobby and Heather Hussy aren’t afraid of showing their influences. There’s a Pavement looseness to Heather’s singing and drumming on “Channeling Spiral Stairs”, Bobby’s guitar loping around in distorted twangs. There’s a Dinosaur Jr. feel to the riffs in “Not the Weed”, and a power pop punch to “Take You Up”, with wordless harmonies and lap steel guitar added for good measure.
“I don’t care, I don’t know,” Heather repeats on “EZ-PZ”, a classic punk chug questioning the viability of “easy street,” an appropriate topic for a band this hard-working. Not caring returns on the following track: “I don’t really care what you say, I’ve got it made in the shade,” Bobby insists, the defiant streak burning through the otherwise friendly pulse of the grunge-DEVO “Made in the Shade”. Elsewhere, itchy violin laces the downtempo, fragile “Darkness”, a rich counterpoint to an album that otherwise largely differentiates itself by exactly how much its volume and speed are cranked.
For a “trash band,” The Hussy manages to artfully incorporate plenty of old influences with new inspirations. Galore is full of sing-along moments, fist-pumping guitar solos, and shimmy-ready rhythms. This album sounds like Bobby and Heather reaching a new rung on the ladder; hopefully, it marks the beginning of a bigger, bolder version of The Hussy.
Essential Tracks: “EZ-PZ”, “Darkness”, and “Take You Up”