Mint Wad Willy – A History of Guns and Liars CD Review

Mint Wad Willy
A History of Guns and Liars
Self Released

MP3 download Mint Wad Willy – God Bless America (mp3)

Mint Wad Willy’s debut album “A History of Guns and Liars” definitely has a Southern Rock vibe to it. The dominant instrumental sound is artfully sloppy, distorted slide guitar. When I first listened to it, I’d think at the beginning of each song “Oh no here comes the Black Crowes!” (The only thing worse than a dirty hippie is a dirty hippy who drawls.)

Luckily this is only a momentary impression. Iowa City has a strong, long-standing roots rock aesthetic that discriminates between good excess and bad excess, and MWW walks that tightrope with grace. They might remind you of any number of Southern Rock icons, but they remind me more of The Band, who were northerners in love with indigenous folk music of the American South. Mint Wad Willy tries to find their way to the deep muddy central channel of American folk music, not content to paddle around in the shallows.

I’m not such a fan of the mellower side of MWW, for example “Takin It Slow.” As Woody Allen said, “if I get too mellow I ripen and then rot.” But starting with “50501” and “Oh My God,” these guys seem to find their mojo. The former brings The Band and mid-period Dylan to mind, the latter veers off into a spooky, messed up kind of country Gothic cabaret music. “Who’s laughing now we’re all dying?” indeed!

Just as a matter of personal taste I should hate Mint Wad Willy, with their echoes of the Allman Brothers and (shudder) Lynyrd Skynrd, but I’m kinda crazy about this CD. Maybe it’s because it’s noisier, ruder and meaner than anything those deep-fried dinosaurs do. Maybe it’s because they seem to be following their own crooked muse fearlessly. Either way, it’s a strong piece of work.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »


Iowa City Book Festival

Oct. 18-24

A celebration of books, writing and ideas

Find Out More


Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.