A man once said, “A good song should distress the comforted and comfort the distressed” and Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses’ latest album, Junky Star, fits that description perfectly. Everyone has high expectations for these guys, which were not only met, but blown away with a sound that feels like it sits out in-between genres of music. Most of these songs feel like they’ve been written not by a country band or a rock and roll band, but a mix between the two.
The entire band went in the studio, recorded “Junky Star” and crafted each song with a sound that fans will both relate to and recognize. There’s not a more versatile group of players that can go from an album such as Roadhouse Sun and follow it up with something of this caliber. It’s extremely well written and produced, but remains gritty, old-school, and stripped-back to the point of genius. The entire album pulls out a range of emotions from a song like “Depression” that makes me want to jump up raise my fist in there air (no fist pumping!) and scream the lyrics back to the speaker, to a save-the-best-for-last “All Choked Up Again” as the last track. The first time I heard that one, I literally pulled over 30 seconds in and said “Holy Shit”. Out loud. With no one else in the truck.
The tone of this album is vastly different than anything previously released. It sets a different course and shows the diversity that Bingham & The Dead Horses are capable of. If Mescalito is the album that you listen to at 3:00am to get you home and Roadhouse Sun is the album that you listen to in the morning to wake up and get the day rocking… Junky Star is the album that you will listen to at the close of a day when the sun hits the ground and you need something that will change your perspective, not just on your day, but on everything.
-Ryan “Tank” Hargrave (reprinted from MusicFest magazine)