Patterson Hood: Murdering Oscar and other love songs (Shock)

Patterson Hood: Walking Around Sense
Patterson Hood: Murdering Oscar and other love songs (Shock)

One of the mainmen in Elsewhere favourites Drive-By Truckers, Patterson Hood here weighs in with the second solo outing under his own name which stalks similar musical territory as the Truckers (alt.country, Stones-riffery, dark ballads) but takes an even more dense emotional turn in some places.

Many of the songs here -- as he explains in the interesting liner notes to each -- come from his notebook (Pollyanna from '91) -- and the birth of his daughter Ava has prompted some: not lullabies however but rather questions like "what does it mean to bring a child into the post 9-11 world?"

He juxtaposes emotional positions too: the riffery of I Understand Now about being happy and settled in a new house (and which has his Muscle Shoals sessionman dad David on bass) is uplifting but what follows is the downbeat, Wilco-like Screwtopia ("the perfect counter-balance . . . domestic tranquility was my worst fucking nightmare").

Then Grandaddy is a fiddle-coloured, finger pickin' love song to his daughter as he recalls a fond memory from his own childhood. The bleak Heavy and Hanging was prompted by Kurt Cobain's suicide and could have been an off-cut from Neil Young's Tonight's the Night. The spirit of Young haunts Walking Around Sense also, "the companion piece to heavy and Hanging".

There's a keen lyrical intelligence here (as expected) and with a number of Truckers in attendance, a cover of Todd Rundgren's The Range War (from his marvellous Something/Anything album) and the intensity of the emotions (up or down) married to fully realised music this collection of older songs, revisits and new material hangs together as a dark but compelling collection -- which admittedly will not be to everyone's taste.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section

Black Sabbath: Greatest Hits (Universal)

Black Sabbath: Greatest Hits (Universal)

There's no particular reason for mentioning this 14 track collection (which includes Paranoid, Iron Man, War Pigs etc) given that it isn't the first or probably the last such collection: but... > Read more

Malcolm Middleton: Waxing Gibbous (Pod)

Malcolm Middleton: Waxing Gibbous (Pod)

This somewhat eccentric Scottish singer-songwriter Middleton is not "an acquired taste" (which has a pejorative meaning) rather a taste that few in this country have acquired:... > Read more

New Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Ladi6

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Ladi6

The annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards are more than just a night for winners in the various categories, it has become an opportunity to celebrate the growth and diversity of the local music... > Read more

DAVE GROHL CONSIDERED (2014): Good, better . . . best

DAVE GROHL CONSIDERED (2014): Good, better . . . best

This is true: I was in the studio when Dave Grohl's post-Nirvana band Foo Fighters recorded for the first time. And it wasn't in Seattle as you might expect. Roll the tape back and me being... > Read more