Jack Biilmann – Hot Blood

BMA single review by Vince Leigh

Hot Blood is the new track for Jack Biilmann and the first single from his forthcoming fourth album, Divided Mind. The song was recorded live at The Round Plain Church, Rocky Plain NSW, on land Jack’s grandfather owned in 1965. It is a sacred site for his family. 

Before the first note even rings out, there’s a story to be had about the music. The record was captured via generator power and mixed by Matt Barnes (Hands Like Houses, Madi Diaz) with mastering by Ian Pritchett (The Beautiful Girls, Angus & Julia Stone, Boo Seeka). 

Hot Blood is fittingly raw and intimate, harnessing all the connotations of the genre. In this case, it’s a bluegrass country rock-blues fusion that pulses with a determined, almost feverish temperament. 

Underscoring Jack’s purposeful, unpretentious vocal approach is a stomping quarter note bass drum. This is led by a slide guitar and various subtle accents and pauses that help generate a sense of action and intensity. 

The sound is unrefined and immediate. One wouldn’t be surprised if it were recorded in one take. [Biilmann himself later confirmed that this song and, in fact, the entire album was recorded live in one take – BOSSMAN SKO]

The reverbs also help, as much a crucial part of the sonic apparatus as the performances or the instrumentation. 

As the refrain tells us: 

I was born with hot blood in my veins And I’ll die just the same 

The narrative force is tied to the cyclical nature of this twelve-bar blues variation. It hints at—or perhaps even announces—a stolid acceptance of a state or an unrepentant acknowledgement of the unchangeable self. 

The track adheres to the nuances of the genre, with the slide guitar working in tandem with the lead vocal, and the various vocal additions, including those from Sara Flint (Apricot Ink). 

Although Hot Blood contains many of the same stylistic attributes of Jack’s previous releases, it does suggest a slight change. The country elements are more pronounced amid the blues rock inferences. 

If the new song is indicative of the new album, it unveils what will undoubtedly be an illuminating aspect of Jack’s expanding catalogue.

You can hear this track on Spotify or Apple Music

Catch the launch for Divided Mind on June 16 at The Basement. Tix on sale now via Oztix

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