There’s a misnomer on one man bands, at least there is when it comes to particular acts within the genre. The theory is that they’re crazy or difficult to work with. The fact is that many are old school D.I.Y. punks who would rather complete a release and a tour on their own without having to up their payroll. In a time where there’s not much change left in music, it makes sense. When you make dirty and down home blues like Austin’s Scott H. Biram, it really makes sense. On his new full length Fever Dreams the singer songwriter takes us back down the rabbit hole while offering up some new touches to his already seasoned repertoire.
The opening track “Fever Dreams” offers that good ole Biram tone. Against the acoustic and his fuzz touched vocals, the softer side of what he does comes through. The vocals mixed up front, the earnest tone offers up his sound in a new yet familiar way. While “Hobo Jungle” is more rock oriented, “Can’t Stay Long” goes back to that mix of country and blues that Biram has long since perfected. The swagger of the song backed by claps and backing vocals has his road weary tone, the song rolls along like it’s meant to be backed by the weez of a CB radio. This continues on the slower thump of “Drunk Like Me” where his devil inspired howl comes through from start to finish.
But where these songs all have remnants of past Biram sounds, it’s the songs that break new ground that really stand out. On “Monkey David Wine” with Jesse Dayton Biram echoes southern swamp blues with plenty of attitude. The blues rock configuration of the David Allen Coe track gets new legs without trampling on the original. “Single Again” has this old Nashville country twang and and just as succinct tonality of the era without feeling rehashed. “Watcha Gonna Do?” has all of the sneer and attitude of Link Wray if it were transcribed by The Cramps. But as wonderful as these songs are, the big standout of the release comes with “Everything Just Slips Away.” Biram is always at his best knee deep in a sorrowed sound. With vocals sounding like they’re coming from down the hall and the acoustic offering a down home tone, Biram shows us that he can still stir our souls even this far into a well honed career.
Fever Dreams can be purchased directly from Bloodshot Records on various formats. It’s also available to buy in all online music stores or to stream on all streaming services. Scott H. Biram is on tour starting December 19 at The Far Out Lounge in Austin, TX until October 07 at Rotown in Rotterdam, Netherlands. His tour dates can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Christopher Cardoza.