I’ve described my favorite song by Savannah, GA-trio CUSSES as, “Kathleen Hanna fronting a sleaze rock band, or a riot grrrl taking up vocal duties on the first Buckcherry record.” (Both of which would be equally as interesting and admirable as they were bizarre.) The song is “Sally and Her Tassels,” which can be found on the band’s Here Comes the Rat EP, which drops this Tuesday, June 2nd, and previews their second full-length, Golden Rat, which will hit shelves in the near future. I recently got a chance to chat with CUSSES vocalist Angel Bond, who tells me that responses to the band, whose self-titled debut was released in 2012, have been equally bizarre and shocked.
“A lot of people were stunned in my family and circles of friends. I was doing soul music at the time. I had played saxophone. I was a band geek in high school [laughs], but I was into rock as a kid and my dad is still a rocker, so it wasn’t exactly new for me.”
The sounds of CUSSES’ first album have drawn comparisons to riot grrrl and Aquanet, spandex, and leatherwear alike, yet their sounds are far from laughable or even slightly “novel.” Their follow-up EP is less of a departure from their first LP and more of an evolution into an even more complex and dynamic exploration of their abilities and influences. When I ask Angel about how she compares their latest EP and the forthcoming full-length (which will likely contain all of the songs of Here Comes The Rat) to their debut full-length she tells me, “I think it’s a little more powerful to the audience. This one took a lot longer because we wanted it to be a progression and a better record.” And when I ask about their current musical influences she cites stoner rock all-stars Queen of the Stone Age and noise-makers METZ as being something that the trio has been actively listening to and inspired by, but also admits that a lot of older music of varying genres provide many of their favorite soundtracks for being on the road and a substantial inspiration.
Angel Bond tells me that officially getting together with bandmates Brian Lackey and Bryan Harder solidified Cusses’ aesthetic as a band.
“Making music is the best part. All coming together we have fun. Momentum picked up pretty fast and we just rolled with it. We love this process of writing together. It’s like therapy for the band. It’s not a one-man-band. It’s a three-man-band. We write really fast together. Everyone has a huge part in the process.”
CUSSES currently have a handful of June and July dates booked in the South and Mid-Atlantic (but not yet in the 215) but, according to Angel, the trio definitely plan on expanding throughout the country and will likely include our neck of the woods: “We’re working on booking dates through the end of July, which will include Philly, and then into August on the West Coast.” She also tells me that their live show is the ideal way to experience CUSSES: “If you’ve never seen us live, you can expect to come away sweaty and exhausted but happy. We put every bit of our heart and soul into the live experience and it’s something we want you to remember. That’s how you really get to know us, in the live show.”