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Scott H. Biram - Nothin' But Blood Album Cover

Scott H. Biram - Nothin' But Blood

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This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Scott H. Biram - Nothin’ But Blood
Record Label: Bloodshot
Release Date: Feb. 5, 2014

Talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Nothin’ but Blood, the latest album from crass cowboy Scott H. Biram is a lopsided effort with some of the best songs Biram has ever written and some of the absolute worst. The album opens with the meandering vagabond anthem “Slow & Easy,” a rustic mid-tempo cut that defines Biram to a T: confident, deftly executed and inviting. Similarly, the Johnny Cash-infused “Gotta Get to Heaven” has a decided gospel inflection that absolutely slays from the very first seconds.

Not ready to mail it in yet, the rambunctious bar-room rocker “Alcohol Blues” successfully marries scruffy, whiskey-soaked shenanigans with profane, bleary-eyed arrogance. Were it not for a searing lead guitar in the song’s latter stages, the song might be worth skipping. After the histrionics of “Alcohol Blues,” Biram is sorely in need of a ballad and sure enough, the meditative and poignant “Never Goin’ Home” answers that bell.

Enter Dr. Jekyll.

“Dirty Whiskey” tries its best to recreate the brawny, beer-soaked landscape of “Alcohol Blues” but absolutely collapses upon itself and completely falls apart. Ditto for the raucous and misguided instrumental “Around the Bend,” the forgettable “Church Point Girls” and the creepy and borderline disturbing “Backdoor Man.” And yet interspersed amid all this absurdity is the impacting “Jack of Diamonds,” the tender and flawless “Nam Weed” and the self-aware confessional “I’m Troubled.”

Almost unexplainably, Biram offers up three bonus tracks at the end of the disc, all of which are easily the strongest three on the entire album. A harmonica opens a scruffy, if not imperfect version of “Amazing Grace,” while “When I Die” and “John the Relevator” are easily some of the strongest songs Biram has ever recorded. And yet, why are they at the back of the album as tacked-on bonus tracks? Why are they not replacing “Dirty Whiskey,” “Church Point Girls” and “Backdoor Man”?

For as long as he’s recorded music, Biram has marched to the beat of his own drum and done things his way. Given that, the lopsided, self-indulgent nature of Nothin’ but Blood makes absolute perfect sense. But at what point does one sacrifice pride, ego and personal agenda in the name of accessible, commercial and indelible.

Perhaps only Scott H. Biram knows the answer to that.

Recommended If You Like country punk, Lead Belly, Steve Earle, Johnny Cash


Tracklisting 1. Slow & Easy
2. Gotta Get to Heaven
3. Alcohol Blues
4. Never Comin’ Home
5. Dirty Whiskey
6. Jack of Diamonds
7. Nam Weed
8. Backdoor Man
9. Church Point Girls
10. I’m Troubled
11. Around the Bend

Bonus Tracks
12. Amazing Grace
13. When I Die
14. John the Revelator (featuring Jesse Vain)

Produced by Scott H. Biram


Find Him Here http://ScottBiram.com
 
Displaying posts 1 - 9 of 9
12:24 PM on 02/20/14
#2
hello_arsonist
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It is refreshing to see the country music reviews as of late! Country music has been my genre of choice for a while now. I am still only about halfway through my first listen to this album and the Jekyll & Hide analogy seems to be perfect with Scott. His albums are always a good time and am thoroughly enjoying this one so far. There are some great recently released albums (Lydia Loveless, Jason Eady, Jimbo Mathus) and more on the horizon (new Sturgill Simpson in May!!!) and would love to see this site give them coverage. Keep up the good work!!!
12:27 PM on 02/20/14
#3
Gregory Robson
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It is refreshing to see the country music reviews as of late! Country music has been my genre of choice for a while now. I am still only about halfway through my first listen to this album and the Jekyll & Hide analogy seems to be perfect with Scott. His albums are always a good time and am thoroughly enjoying this one so far. There are some great recently released albums (Lydia Loveless, Jason Eady, Jimbo Mathus) and more on the horizon (new Sturgill Simpson in May!!!) and would love to see this site give them coverage. Keep up the good work!!!
Lydia Loveless is in my queue. Expect it in a few weeks. If not sooner.
12:42 PM on 02/20/14
#4
hello_arsonist
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Lydia Loveless is in my queue. Expect it in a few weeks. If not sooner.
Somewhere Else has been on repeat pretty much since last week for me! Looking forward to reading your review.

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