Album: Patterson Hood, Murdering Oscar (and other love songs), Ruth St Records/ATO

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The Independent Culture

The Drive-By Truckers' creative mainspring springs no surprises on his debut solo album, Murdering Oscar (and other love songs) carrying on where the DBTs' magisterial 2008 album Brighter Than Creation's Dark left off.

Which is to say, more songs about the kinds of lovers and losers whose lives tend to slip between the cracks, be they the subject of "Pollyanna" who "had a warmth about her could not melt an icecube", or the hapless car-crash victim of the rustic banjo blues "Foolish Young Bastard". The prevailing slide-guitar-streaked grunge-blues style pays particular dividends late on, when Hood follows one song about Kurt Cobain ("Heavy And Hanging") with another, "Walking Around Sense", pointedly aimed at the child of a rock widow who "don't even have walking around sense". Doomed anticipation forms an important part of Hood's worldview, whether it's the "Granddaddy" looking forward to being "the laziest sonofabitch you've ever seen", or the grim prospect of suburban marital hell in "Screwtopia". But the album's overall worldview is perhaps best expressed in "Pride Of The Yankees", which illustrates Hood's apocalyptic contention that "Something is constantly scheming and brewing/ To make our lives a disaster movie".

Download this: 'Walking Around Sense', 'Pride of the Yankees', 'Foolish Young Bastard', 'Heavy and Hanging'