On his original songs, Scott H. Biram bleeds in two gears–gushing’n’gory as on “Blood, Sweat, & Murder,” or else pricked’n’picked as on “Lost Case of Being Found.” The latter is my particular favorite. The thread of those songs throughout Biram’s career makes good of his progression from spastic punk interpreter to confident storyteller–“Wreck My Car,” “Still Drunk,” I’ll count “Sinking Down,” too. His new album starts with a song in that mode, “Slow & Easy,” which I think is one of his best songs ever. It’s obvious how great he is live, but it doesn’t get noted enough how he’s always been really good in the studio, spanning the spectrum of fidelity–and “Slow & Easy” sounds perfectly lush and muddy at the same time. Despite the True Blood-looking album art, it’s worth a purchase for this song alone. From then on the album mostly alternates between the two types of cuts–vulgar speedmetal that’s done so well for its unflinching lyrical details, but that I will mostly skip over, and the measured slices of David Alan Coe “River”-like staying power. “Nam Weed” is especially great.

If you get the CD or vinyl you’ll get an extra three traditional covers that don’t seem to be on iTunes. Biram’s “Amazing Grace” is one of the most interesting moments on the album–just his vocals and harmonica over a background thunderstorm. I don’t think there’s anything identifiably stunning about it, we’re well aware he’s got soul, but the song’s just really weird and nice in the best way. He can somehow be surprising even with traditionals. He’s a bad-ass motherfucker and I find him more compelling when that fact’s not hitting me over the head like a tire iron his amphetamine songs. You can tell what a bad-ass motherfucker he is when he slows down enough for you to get a look. You’ve seen him at shows–he’s the sweetest fucking person you’ll ever meet. It must be hard to travel the world for over a decade, mostly by your lonesome. His songs are insanely powerful when that comes through in whatever capacity. Honestly, that’s there in all his songs, but I don’t have the patience for the blood and murder anymore. Sweat, though, indicates a struggle, that there’s work being done. And I love Scott H. Biram’s work.

Gather yourself some sweet ear blossoms at Mr. Biram’s store, CD & LP. Make a necklace, wear one in your hair. Sniff the digital at iTunes.

Author: Mike Ostrov

Mike Ostrov relays the history of popular song on message boards and under rocks.


    1. Yeah, it’s weird. “When I Die” and “John the Revelator” are on vinyl as the “When I Die” 7-inch, which is sold on its own or as a package with either the CD or LP.

      But it seems like “Amazing Grace” is only on the CD.

      1. Yeah I was hoping all three would be on the download at least. oh well still a great record. There was also a version of Amazing Grace as a bonus on a deluxe version of Bad Ingredients

  1. One big thing I noticed is Nam Weed is half a song that Drew Landry released on Sharecroppers Wine. The original is far superior to Biram’s. Not sure why the title change and the omission of some great lyrics.Have a listen interested to hear other peoples thoughts. Like them both Drew Landry is a talent not to be missed.

      1. Those albums are classic. I think this one is in that category. To each their own. But the latest Biram is most certainly Essential Listening to me.

  2. Scott H. Biram” I wrote Nam Weed in 2001. Drew recorded it and added a couple verses of his own about Iraq and renamed it.”
    Both are great tunes!

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