To follow-up his well-received 2011 full-length album Bad Ingredients on Bloodshot Records Texan one-man band Scott H. Biram has released a collection of new songs and covers under the title Nothin’ But Blood. A highly anticipated album, this one, and after listening to it in its entirety a handful of times now I can say it was well worth the wait. To begin, Biram launches into the kind of rebel country, raw and soulful blues, and dirty ol’ rock for which fans have come to both know and appreciate him over the years (in the one-man band scene Biram is a name one hears beside the likes of Bob Log III and Possessed by Paul James, and that says a lot about what kind of artist he is). There are also songs bearing the stigmata-like marks of Biram’s whiskey-soaked barroom punk and metal as muddy and powerful as the Mississippi River, during which he effectively cranks up the aggression and madness with plenty of distortion and blues-tinged vocal deliveries interrupted by throat-blistering growls. Regardless which style of song he’s playing, or if he is throwing ‘em all into the barrel to be distilled into his own homemade 100-proof sound, he has that distinct Scott H. Biram sound.
Throughout Nothin’ But Blood Biram throws a number of brand new originals at the listener, hitting them with plenty of sin and penitence, states of grace and damnation, a haze of booze and bad women, and the other things to which the compass of his life as pointed over the years, whether in experience or influence. The standout originals on Nothin' But Blood are definitely "Gotta Get to Heaven," "Alcohol Blues," "Only Whiskey" and "Nam Weed." And as far as the covers are concerned, Biram arguably offers up the best version of "Backdoor Man" since Howlin' Wolf and the best version of "John the Revelator since Blind Willie Johnson.
Nothin' But Blood by Scott H. Biram is available from Bloodshot Records on CD or LP.