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Patterson Hood, ‘Murdering Oscar (and Other Love Songs)’ (Ruth St.)

Although most of the songs on Patterson Hood’s second solo album predate the existence of Drive-By Truckers, they’d easily fit on any of his band’s records — same low-life characters, busted dreams, and black humor, rendered in solidly gothic Southern rock. The body count starts on the title track, with Hood sounding both regretful and turned on as he howls, “I killed Oscar and I forgave me.” Then he attempts to claim self-defense. Hood’s unreliable narrator is always lookin’ for forgiveness in all the wrong places, even if he’s the only one listening to his confession.

Listen: Patterson Hood, “I Killed Oscar” (DOWNLOAD MP3)