Scott H. Biram. The man Just. Doesn't. Give. A fuck. And it shows. The so-called "Dirty One-Man Band" has been playing scuzzy Americana and bluegrass with a punk fervor and ethos since the mid-nineties, but he won his fame as a solo act with an old-fashioned mic and a hollow-body Gibson. This is a guy who built his reputation by surviving a crash in his truck, then performing from his wheelchair, IV's and all. Most of his music is aggressive and angry and heavily steeped in a Depression-era (and earlier) folk and blues tradition that used music was cheap therapy for life's crushing problems. His albums are mostly filled with tales of loss, desperation, deprivation, in short, the darker side of life.
But sometimes even someone like Scott H. Biram discovers a riff so magical and melancholy that even he can't help but crank it out, pen some fitting lyrics and then get the hell out of the way. When done right, it's a beautiful thing (see, "The Passenger") reminding us that great music is often compelling due to its simplicity. "Wildside" is a perfect example of that, a great intro to Scott H. Biram, even though it sounds little like the rest of his songs. It appeared on his 2009 Bloodshot album, appropriately titled Something's Wrong / Lost Forever and it manages to meld that glass three-quarters empty outlook with a sliver of hope and an series of power chords that would make most ax-men salivate. It's a song of optimism that pessimists can get down to and vice-versa.