Scott H. Biram
Something's Wrong/Lost Forever
The Reverend Scott H. Biram can do no wrong in my book. Like any good parishioner, I will follow the good Reverend's lead in all things, from consuming my communion of whiskey and biscuits, not taking shit off of anyone who comes my way, and knowing that the good Lord, Jesus loves me just the way that I am. Like most who take Biram's word as the gospel, any and everything that he has released musically stands the test of time and constantly remains at an arm-length, ready to be consumed when and wherever the spirit moves me. Something's Wrong/Lost Forever, the newest testament in the gospel of Scott H. Biram, is just what the doctor ordered, the best of both worlds, conjuring the bombastic boot-stomp and the drunken heartbreak in all of us.
At face value, what is most impressive for a mere passerby is that, like everything he does, Scott pretty much handles it all on this album, from writing, to singing, engineering, producing, stomping, and hollering. This indeed makes the album all his own, the exact portrait that he wishes to convey in the exact way he wants, whether it be slapping us in the face or lending a friendly ear and warm glass of bourbon. Something's Wrong/Lost Forever is a much more laid back Scott Biram than what we have seen in the recent past, almost returning to the days of Preachin' and Hollerin'. Not that he has gone soft on us, no sir. It's just that there seems to be much more of an emphasis placed on the craft of songwriting, along with his overall grit and raw emotion. These songs include the laid back "Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue" and "Wildside" on which Biram seems to be channeling more of a Hank Williams feel than ever with more twang and drawl than you can shake a stick at. These tracks are plumb pretty at times, sad at others, and make you want to drown your sorrows at the bottom of the bottle. Once the sacrament has been consumed, there are plenty of rowdy moments on the album to get the blood flowing a bit faster, including "Judgement Day" where Biram preaches the gospel in his own twisted way and "I Feel Good" on which Van Campbell and John Wesley Myers of the Black Diamond Heavies add their own flair and burn the whole damn barn down in the process. Ending the album in the absolute perfect manner, Scott H. Biram shows his true blues and gospel roots and raises the spirits by giving an a capella rendition of Leadbelly's "Go Down Ol' Hannah", showing more soul than most R&B singers combined.
All in all, another great album by the man, the myth, the legend that is known as Scott H. Biram. His music brings together blues, rock, gospel, all in a punkass manner that appeals to an extremely broad variety of individuals, that are ever growing in number and variety even as we speak. I see this new album as propelling him into the league in which he belongs, especially in the circles that hold Hank Williams III in such a high regard. And make no mistake about it, Scott H. Biram is most definitely an outlaw whose music goes far above and beyond reflecting just that. - Andrew Bryant