Scott H. Biram

The Bad Testament

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Scott H. Biram knows what he's about. He's a guy who knows a lot about sin and a little about salvation, as he tries to make sense of a world where the temptations of alcohol, reefer, and lust cross his path more often than the blessings of the Lord. Biram writes songs about this stuff, sometimes quiet, sometimes loud, and just about always pulled from his guts and played with genuine emotional intensity regardless of his stage volume. This is what Biram has been doing since he made his first crude recordings, and 2017's The Bad Testament demonstrates that he isn't changing his ways anytime soon. Biram also happens to be good at what he does, and if this album doesn't break much new ground for him, The Bad Testament finds he hasn't run out of things to say about his life on the wrong side of the tracks. Biram is best known for his full-on electric attack, and he brings the noise on numbers like "TrainWrecker" and "Set Me Free," but much of The Bad Testament is devoted to acoustic-based numbers, and Biram generates a quiet intensity on "Swift Driftin'," "Still Around," and "Feel So Wrong" that shows he can turn down the amps and still make his songs connect. And the more dressed-up tracks like "Red Wine" and "True Religion" suggest Biram could make a great straight-ahead country or blues album if he found the right producer. Scott H. Biram remains one of the rawest and realest honky tonk men wandering our lost highways in the 21st century, and The Bad Testament finds him howling just like the hellhound on his trail.

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