By Aaron Davis (for JHWeekly.com)
Tomorrowland RYAN BINGHAM
Dominated by open guitar tuning simplicity, Tomorrowland brings a gritty singer to his grittiest. Opener “Beg for Broken Legs” sets the heavy, aggressive rock tone with a string arrangement akin to Led Zeppelin III’s “Friends.” The articulated “Flower Bomb” points out the problems in American culture and politics. Bingham’s lyrical composition shines with insightfulness early, giving way to less thoughtful moments in “Guess Who’s Knocking” and “The Road I’m On.” He champions the blue-collar, underprivileged life with attitude, unabashedly exposing the demons, and you believe him with the likes of “Rising of the Ghetto.” Whether acoustic or electric, instrumental tones are roomy and just right. While Bingham’s soulful phrasing and raspy vocal inflections don’t step beyond his standard stylistic boundaries, I’m not sure that they need to – yet. Even after ditching his label and his band, Tomorrowland solidifies Bingham’s alt-country artistry and will certainly be at the top of the genre’s releases in 2012. Be forewarned though, Bingham is pissed, and this is a place for the weary kind.