A Tale Of Two Mullets: Morgan Wallen VS Johnny Dynamite

A Tale Of Two Mullets: Morgan Wallen VS Johnny Dynamite

In a battle for mulleted-performer that most deserves your listening attention at the moment, Johnny Dynamite and the Bloodsuckers dominate by choosing croon over twang.

DISCLAIMER: Everything we do at Pop War is presented in the context of a battle between two artists or works of art. We even joke that 'art is not subjective.' We don't mean this literally. This is all just meant to be a unique lens we use in order to analyze music, and should never be used to assume we don't value both artists we compare and contrast.


As someone who’s old enough to have witnessed (and willingly participated in) the mullet’s first wave, it’s difficult to understand the re-emergence of a hairstyle once thought to be a shameful relic from an era of questionable taste. So, to see the ‘do on a pop-country star whose name has been inescapable over the past year AND someone cranking out darkwave-tinged and dreamy synth pop from the basements of Brooklyn is perplexing enough for me to draw a link between the two artists - and it’s quite likely the only link one could possibly find.


Maybe not, though. Wallen’s single, “Last Night,” from earlier this year relies upon a looped narrative that actually offers some respite from the often overproduced and overworked songs we typically find in the mainstream. Dynamite’s brand new single, “Love In New Madrid,” is similar in structure and delivery, although the two songs could not possibly sound more different from each other. Johnny offers up a vocal that recalls a young Robert Smith’s more deep and commanding delivery, embellished with occasional breathy and delicate croons. It works to great effect, not only on this single, but throughout his catalog, to create a persona in Dynamite that is passionate and deeply affected by whatever the song’s subject may be. In contrast, Morgan’s got an arguably over pronounced southern twang that’s hard to take seriously.


In “Love In New Madrid,” Johnny Dynamite uses arpeggiated and crisp guitar lines to adorn mellow synth pads and a pounding vintage drum machine beat to present a story in which he’s presumably settled into a relationship that isn’t quite getting his heart beating as fast as he’d like. He proclaims that the person in question was “not the fault line” he needed, following up with “I just want to feel ground beneath me shaken.” It’s a rather impressive way to use the overused metaphor of love feeling like an earthquake, basing the lyrical hook around a major North American fault line said to be ripe for “the big one.”


“…New Madrid” is the second single from Johnny Dynamite and the Bloodsuckers’ third full length, The Tale of Tommy Gunn, to be released in September of this year on Born Losers Records. And, to be honest, I don't think I’ve ever been so eagerly anticipating a record from an artist actively sharing the same haircut as a celebrated contemporary country artist.


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