Ryan Bingham

Fear and Saturday Night (Axster Bingham)

SXSW 2015 Records

Ryan Bingham

Fear and Saturday Night (Axster Bingham)

If 2012's Tomorrow­land forced Ryan Bing­ham to reckon with his past in confronting the death of his parents, dropping his band and major label, and largely eschewing the success of his hit Grammy and Oscar-winning "The Weary Kind," then the L.A.-based songwriter's fifth LP finds him focused solidly in the present. Fear still mines enough scarred grit to match Bingham's distinctive rasp, but even the desperation of opener "Nobody Knows My Trouble" rambles warmly over easy rhythm. Impending fatherhood makes a mark on the exception, "Broken Heart Tattoos," and although guitar-rattled "Top Shelf Drug" and Tex-Mex send-up "Adventures of You and Me" up the energy, producer Jim Scott (Wilco) keeps the rockers comparatively stripped back. The slow burn of the title track and beautiful balladry of "Snow Falls in June" impress most, while biting but defiant "My Diamond Is Too Rough" serves as definitive statement of Bingham's relation to the music industry. (Fri., 8pm, Auditorium Shores)

***

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