When we have expectations, and we all do, we sort of expect to be let down eventually. When you have an artist like Scott Hiram Biram, a 9B favorite, those expectations can be pretty high. Every album has a chance to disappoint. When you have written as many words about an artist as we have about guys like this you know that if they don’t live up to their past work you can’t pull any punches. We have seen it here on 9B with other bands that I won’t mention here. I went in to this album, after snaking the review from AIV, knowing that if it wasn’t as good as Scott’s past work I would have to say so. However that is not the case. Bad Ingredients lives up to every white-trash/punk/blues/rock ‘n’ roll expectation any reasonable person could possibly have! It is great from start to finish.
This is album number number eight for the venerable Hiram Biram and he’s still proving that he is the real deal. Sure there are other one man bands out there. Sure there are some folks playing rebel and some others trying to wear outlaw colors. There is, however, only one Scott-motherfuckin’-Hiram-Biram. Right now, eight albums in, it certainly feels like the man can do no wrong. I might be guilty of placing him on a pedestal of sorts but at this point it’s more than earned. Bad Ingredients is, simply put, yet another piece of Essential Listening from SHB.
The writing on this album seems to be more mature than his other works but the music is just as gritty and sloppy and that’s what makes Scott such a perennial favorite here at 9B. It never ceases to amaze me what this boy can accomplish with nothing more than a guitar, a kickboard and a microphone. Not to be left out of the “OMFG so-and-so has horns on their album” meme Scott actually breaks from tradition and brings in a saxophone for one track so you can’t even say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. From clean picking to completely dirty with reverb tracks this album has just about anything anyone could want from Scott at this point. I am not going to bother with analyzing the tracks because they speak for themselves. Let’s just say your record collection isn’t complete without the darkness and grit that make up Bad Ingredients. My own personal recommendation is to consume this album with copious amounts of Old Crow and self loathing. You won’t regret it.