Review: Scott H. Biram “Bad Ingredients”


Scott H. Biram: Bad Ingredients
By John G. Larson, Contributing Writer

Get ready for a frenetic adventure of highly original tunes as Scott H. Biram soars on Bad Ingredients, his seventh full length album (and fourth release on Bloodshot Records). With one foot firmly planted in the Muddy Waters school of plaintive delivery, Biram somehow manages to sound freshly current much in the same way Jack White did so successfully with the White Stripes.  A true guitar slingin’ Texan of the unapologetic Outlaw variety, Biram is an authentic, commanding force who just ain’t to be messed with.

Sounding as if he’s made a deal at the crossroads and has now embarked on a menacing trail rife with hell-hounds and Mojo-stealing women, Biram’s “Dirty Old One Man Band” blues/country/rockabilly hybrid accomplishes what the Black Keys did for the soul/funk genre. With sparse instrumentation consisting of frequently fuzzed out guitar, percussive foot stomp and distorted vocals, the aural landscape of Bad Ingredients is filled with dangerous riffs, offset occasionally by softer sounds that are no doubt meant to grant the listener a breather from the onslaught of full throttle, roots driven tunes Biram kills and thrives on.

Within the solid framework of the album lurk a number of standout tracks.  Channeling Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Biram rips through the evil barn-burner, “Dontcha Lie To Me Baby,” like a man possessed.  On the more subdued side, opting for a clean acoustic guitar and reverb filled backing vocals, “Open Road” captures the track’s spacious theme by adding just the right amount of instrumental openness to convey the song’s true feel and meaning.  Following suit, the slow and moody  “Born in Jail,”  shows that sultry, electric based Chicago Blues can indeed be done legit by a contemporary artist when contained and played the right way.  And with simple delivery, unfiltered acoustic guitar and Dylan-esque weathered vocals, the straight forward,  “Broke Ass” proves in its starkness that Biram is indeed a first-class songwriter who can tell stories with the best of ’em.

Bad Ingredients is a badass album by a singer/songwriter who doesn’t just think outside the box, but kicks the ever-lovin’ shit out of it.  And man, doesn’t music needs a little more of that these days?


Catch Scott H Biram playing the House of Blues in LA next week on February 16.

For tickets and more information, visit:

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