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  • Gary @ BootsofUK

‘Rat Race’ by Brandon Bing review

Brandon Bing, a raised Country music artist and entrepreneur, he grew up on the sounds of Merle (Haggart), Hank (Williams) and Willie (Nelson). Brandon uses creative wordplay and relatable subjects to create music that is unrivalled, yet familiar.

Brandon tells me he wrote the song to connect with those affected by and suffering with or from addiction.

"The battle, the mental destruction, and unwavering feeling of being alone in a space of being misunderstood leads so many down the wrong patch to substance abuse or a variety of other addictions."

It's great to see greater awareness of once taboo subjects such as addiction and mental health. Music, and more broadly the Arts, are a great medium to release expression and emotions that may otherwise be suppressed, intentionally or otherwise.

"I want this song to be a reminder to our community that we do understand the turmoil and detriment it causes to people we’re close to, including ourselves. It’s never too late to ask for help and have a conversation. This song is exactly that."

I couldn't have said it better myself; for music to aid the understanding of the turmoil we're facing, to be the bridge of our emotions when they're hard to express or articulate.

"Single wide full of booze 

Walks away from a crowded room 

Stumblin back and forth 

Down the hallway  

Dollar bill and an eight ball of cocaine."

The first verse documents the battle faced with addiction, be that booze, gambling ('dollar bill') and drugs ('eight ball of cocaine'), all being directly referenced on inferred.

"His brain starts shifting to a different state

Livin’ his life like a rat race 

Don’t know what road to take 

One wrong turn at the blink of an eye 

Changed his fate."

The chorus charts the affects addiction can have on us 'His brain starts shifting to a different state.' Whilst not only this, it depicts the 'rat race' we are all capable of falling into. These addictions can result in impairment, perhaps having life long impacts on future interactions.

"Dirty blonde and some crystal blues 

Hands bound and bra ripped loose 

Horn honkin swervin down a two lane

Lost control, lipstick smeared on his face."

The second verse is perhaps suggestive of an intimate relationship, whilst doing illicit activities such as drugs 'crystal blues' and being destracted whilst driving. The reference to driving could be reflective of our life and battling addictions; one lane clean and sober, the other destructive. The 'swervin' suggesting a struggle to control it. In fact the song goes on to offer an admission, 'lost control, lip stick smeared on his face'. Either other intimate activities were happening whilst driving, or is a simple reference to trying to apply make up whilst driving and lost control.

The song then returns to the chorus, and leads into the bridge.

"He feels the car roll.

Off the paved road

Into a tree

He sees the glass break and

Hears the screams

That she makes

All is gone

Down the hole from this disaster

The touch he makes from the

Blood on her face

Makes him instant sober."

The bridge uses great metaphors and the car roll symbolises the spiralling life; of course this is a troubling time, but it could also be describing going into depression and suicidal thoughts. 'Down the hole from this disaster' yet become grounded by 'the touch he makes from the blood on her face.'

"Red n’ blue shakin n’ his boots 

Six eight cell he’s through 

Manslaughter fifteen in a state pin 

Scarred for life

Can’t forgive his sins."

The final verse has references to patriotism (Red n' blue) so a sense that the song is try to end on a high, with a sense of pride for who you are and what your story is. Sure we may feel 'scarred for life' by our traumas, but it's these that make us and build our resilience.

The song concludes on the chorus once again, before offering the closing statement of "One wrong turn at the blink of an eye. Changed his fate." This remark is a very accurate one in so much as sometimes we lose sight of where we're going in life and if we're not careful we can find the slopes gradient massively change.

Released on 9th June 2023, 'Rat Race' is available to download and stream now. You can follow more of Brandon on his website - and socials @brandonbingmusic.

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