Money for Guns

Money for Guns: “American Trash” (Reverb Nation) 
By The Reverend Wayne Coomers

Rock Therapy

A desperate, heart-on-the-sleeve rock and roll album is hard to find these days. Key word is desperate: this album opens with a hung-over piano floating in a wash of distortion and ends with a “2 A.M. Breakdown.” In between, Will Saulsbery pleads the cases of various examples of the title type, sometimes including himself, often including wayward women with fishnet stockings and too much access to stimulants, and always including the kind of trash that work for a living and use the laundromat. As such, it’s a refreshing change of pace from Zeitgeist 2011.

Since his days as the driving force behind the aptly named and seldom sober Frustrated Bachelors, Saulsberry’s sharpened the detail of his Midwestern barroom and bedroom tales, figured out (as all true rock and rollers do) how to squeeze the most out of regular-guy pipes (his vocals remind me of Jesse Malin’s or John Easedale’s, and that’s a compliment), and added a dozen new musical moves. Speaking of which, from flat-out rockers like the title tune and “Cold War Country, a hard-charger that’s on repeat play on my system at present, to textured slow ones like “Teach Me to Die” and “Osceola,” this band has a command of dynamics that make this writer very excited about their future work, and anxious to see how its potential is exploited live. When’s the last time that you asked yourself, “I can’t wait to hear what this band does next?” Maybe the peak of their achievement here is “The Midwest Harmonium,” a filthy-noise-graced lament about being intertwined with a wild one who’s “got $50 and…ain’t comin’ back alive.”

Besides being the best Missouri rock and roll album I have heard in years, American Trash is the best-sounding rock and roll album I’ve heard anywhere in a while. By that I don’t mean clean. Lordy, no. But I also don’t mean the “dirty” style that’s become, in its way, as tired as mere professionalism. I mean, it sounds alive: props to Bruce Barkelew and Adam Roehlke at Mansion Studios in Columbia, Missouri—and likely Saulsbery, who has been known to know what he wants. In sum—buy this album. ( ( )

Money for Guns | Saint Louis, MO
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