Patterson Hood – Murdering Oscar [Album Review]

by oz on June 9, 2009

Patterson Hood

Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers is set to release his sophomore solo album called Murdering Oscar on June23rd.‚  Killers and Stars, his solo debut, was an acoustic album that sounded like it was recorded in a bathroom. The lo-fi treatment served the album well. It’s a depressing affair that was recorded at a time when Patterson was going through some tough shit. I was expecting similar slow, acoustic sounds on Murdering Oscar, but that is not what greeted me when I pressed play.

Big, ominous guitar riffs roll in like thunderheads when the title track opens things up. You immediately feel the song’s intensity before a grizzled word is uttered from Patterson’s southern jowls. Then the tale of kill or be killed begins to unfold: “I killed Oscar/Shot him in the head/Put the gun in his mouth/ Watched his brains fly out.” Um, okay. Let me start that song over knowing what I know now. And proceed.

The song reminded me Patterson’s song “The Assasin” from Killers and Stars about a professional killer that loses the taste for his murderous ways. On “Murdering Oscar” it’s as if this same character is confronted from someone he’s wronged and relapses back into blood thirst. While on “The Assassin” the character contemplates quitting for good, he is now remorseless and says “I don’t need forgiveness for my sins/ I don’t need redemption for my sins/ Got the satisfaction of a job well done with my own bare hands.”

After “Murdering Oscar” ends, you’ll need to press pause just to catch your breath. It’s like watching a Quinten Terrintino movie where you can’t quite believe the casual treatment of violence and gore.‚  Once recovered, the rest of the album lowers the intensity level on songs like “Pollyana,” “Pride of the Yankees” about Lou Gherig, “Grandaddy,” a song about growing old, and the whimsical “She’s A Little Randy.”

Drive-by Truckers fans will not be disappointed. Most songs would fit in perfectly on any DBT album, but these are Patterson’s and Murdering Oscar is a great step forward from Killers and Stars. Head over to his MySpace page to hear more tracks and check tour dates. He’ll be in Chicago on June 20th at the Metro with Will Johnson of Centro-matic.

Website | MySpace

Patterson Hood – I Understand Now

Video: Patterson Hood – She’s a Little Randy (Live)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody June 11, 2009 at 11:51 am

I have been much more in tune with Cooley’s stuff over the last couple of DBT albums so I approached this disc with some hesitation. It exceeded my expectations and then some. Great disc.

sarah June 24, 2009 at 10:01 am

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