The Rusty Kid album review

The album cover for The Rusty Kid's new EP, 'No Money,' using an image taken by Raegan Labat

Zach Andrus has said his new EP, “No Money,” is a "first step in clawing my way back up to the top of 2019." The first half of the year has been rough, he said, and he decided to use music to help turn things around.

Under the name The Rusty Kid, Andrus wrote and recorded the six-track EP in his bedroom by himself — and for himself.

“I caught myself trying to please other people so much that I forgot to take care of myself for a while,” he wrote in the album’s notes on Bandcamp. “This EP is a gift to you all, but more, it is a gift that I've owed to myself for a long time.”

Filled with lo-fi surf and psych rock, "No Money" often sounds somber, especially on “Someday” and the album's title track, where the lyrics paint The Rusty Kid as a broke and hopeless romantic. Eerie minor chords add to the gloom and give this track an almost psychedelic western sound.

Much of "No Money" employs a wall of sound made of sparsely recorded drums, layered guitar parts and heavy vocal effects. “Blame the Sun” and “The Way They Feel” are fitting examples of this muddied, psych-influenced style and welcome departures from the EP’s more melancholic compositions.

On “Nothing Left to Give,” The Rusty Kid's sound is more honest. Stripping the composition of everything but guitar and vocals, the musician places his voice at the forefront of the mix and brings the EP to a pensive yet peaceful conclusion.

The true beauty in “No Money” is its balance of emotions — sometimes happy, sometimes sad, and always sincere. The Rusty Kid was creating from a place of necessary self-expression, but this project ends up being a gift to its listeners as well.

“No Money” is available online at therustykid.bandcamp.com.


Are you a Baton Rouge-area musician with a new release? Let us know by emailing red@theadvocate.com.