Scheusch: Album Review


Consider now, the guitar-drum duo, of which persuasion is Scheusch. If you leave out the bass player, you only split the door two ways. You don’t have to load a heavy bass cabinet, and you don’t need to deal with the guy who always gets basil when you send him out to buy weed. Some bands, like White Stripes fill the low end with an exaggerated kick drum, but Scheuss are purists — nothing here below 150 hertz. This thinnish, midrange-heavy sound is an interesting choice, especially coupled with Scheusch’s obvious affection for ’60s heavy rock like Led Zeppelin, The James Gang, Mountain and Cream.

There’s some obvious humor here, as on “Blood On My Shoes” which ends with prog-metal-esque falsetto harmonies. But they sell it — it’s parody and homage rolled into one. “Georgia” leans on blues gestures, not unlike White Stripes, but noisier, and without Jack White’s faux-Robert Plant screech. “Georgia” owes more to locals like Coyote Blood and Liberty Leg than it does to the Stripes; it’s rock forged in moldy Iowa City basement shows. Like beer, it’s always going to be fresher when it’s local.

While Scheusch wears their affection for ’60s rock on their sleeves, they implement it in a curiously innocent way. They seem to have picked up aspects of that sound, particularly in their vocal style, that can’t possibly be conscious homage — even kids who raid dad’s record collection aren’t likely to pick up on bands like Quicksilver Messenger Service, or Sons of Champlain. You can hear in Scheusch that they know their Dio and Zeppelin, but there’re sounds that show up that they must have learned subliminally, as though dad was rocking it on the cassette deck in the car when they were still in car seats. It’s a rockist cliché to demand authenticity, and I don’t think Scheusch give it a second thought — they’re as ironic and meta as any other punk kids their age. But they are the real deal, in ways they might not even know.

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