Loud, entertaining Madison, Wisconsin duo the Hussy just keep getting better and better. Bobby Hussy’s guitar playing has gotten really good, and very eclectic. Lately he’s had a thing for reverb: his amp settings and effects are a lot more varied than in the band’s early days. They pretty much grew up in public, starting out playing stoner hardcore punk before going off in several other tangents. In the beginning, Heather Hussy’s drumming could have been called charmingly erratic, but months of nonstop touring have made her rock-solid. And she’s a good singer, too! They’re at Death by Audio on 6/27 at around 11 PM for a measly seven bucks.
Their new album Pagan Hiss – streaming at their Bandcamp page – kicks off with a wicked biker rock riff and revs up into Thee Oh Sees style noir girlgroup pop, a style they revisit with a reverbtoned snarl a little later. They like short songs: a handful of the lickety-split numbers here recall X on Wild Gift. Another one is totally 60s fuzztone garage rock but without the fuzz. The seventh cut, Woodland Creature begins with an unexpectedly sedate acoustic hook and builds to a haunted castle worth of guitar mulitracks: imagine Steve Kilbey producing the Gun Club circa 1985. There’s also a creepy southwestern blues that reminds of the Sideshow Tragedy, a funny little rant called Hate This Town, a brief found-sound montage, a defiant punk song titled Dying (“They said it was my time, but I don’t know,” Heather sneers) and a considerably more than slight return to the swamp rock menace. Psychedelic punk rock has seldom been this much fun or diverse.