On his ninth album, Scott H. Biram demonstrates that his greatest strength is his versatility. For those upset that I didn’t mention his songwriting, voice, or guitar playing, know that they all fall under the battered state-fair tent that houses such a force of nature. There’s as much country, folk, bluegrass and rockabilly on Nothin’ but Blood as there is punk rock and heavy metal. While mention of the last two genres may puzzle (or frighten) the community-hall-folding-chair crowd, Scott H. Biram doesn’t care. Tracks like “Only Whiskey,” with its frantic foot-stomping and defiant shouts of, “I’ll be the one to say when I’ve had enough,” overtop of gloriously loud guitar prove it. Even an acoustic ballad, like “Nam Weed,” where a convict ruminates on how much happier he was on his tour of duty, has a subversive edge. While Nothin’ but Blood may be drunkenly weaving down the road of Americana, the songs are still distinctly Biram no matter how loud, gruff, quiet or tender they may be.

By Spencer Brown


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