While the long awaited new Faith No More album still seems to be a dream away, Mike Patton and Duane Denison resurrected Tomahawk out of the blue and “Oddfellows”, the project’s fourth studio album will be released worldwide in January 2013 on Patton’s record label Ipecac Recordings.
Beside Mike Patton (Mr. Bungle, Faith No More, Fantômas, Lovage, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Peeping Tom, etc), ex-The Jesus Lizard guitar player Duane Denison, and ex-Helmet drummer John Stanier (currently playing with Battles), Trevor Dunn (ex-Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, etc) player taking the place of Melvins/Cows bass player Kevin Rutmanis.
The 13 brand new songs of “Oddfellows” shows a mature, but still adventurous, willing to explore rock band twisting in and out the borderline between avant-garde and post rock. This is a fever-burned, tensioned, sometimes contorted, sometimes surprisingly chilled and settle down mixture of music. There’s a subtle, but smartly balanced struggle between abstract trips and vivid rock rides with just the right amount of odd and genuine rock energy. “Oddfellows” it’s less furious, less noisier and industrial fueled then their self titled debut in 2001, and the follow up “Mit Gas” in 2003 (the 2007’s “Anonymous” was a different story!!), but still powerful and tensioned throughout. This is 100% Tomahawk with some solid hooks back to Faith No More and a gloomy twist of Peeping Tom flavor.
01 – Oddfellows
02 – Stone Letter
03 – I.O.U
04 – White HatsBlack Hats
05 – A Thousand Eyes
06 – Rise Up Dirty Waters
07 – The Quiet Few
08 – I Can Almost See Them
09 – South Paw
10 – Choke Neck
11 – Waratorium
12 – Baby Let’s Play _____
13 – Typhoon
“Oddfellows” kicks in with a simple, but cutting through riff and the slow, but powerful beat lead us through a positively tensioned, florescent rock track which strangely make me thinking of some strange cartoons with alien creatures.
“Stone Letter” sneaking in smoothly with a friendly riff then hit you right between your eyes, it’s quite an explosive rock track – perfect choice for leading single of the album.
“I.O.U.” feels unfinished, it’s growing out of the dark, but it has been cut off right before it would blooming into something.
“White HatsBlack Hats” release more of the tension, the drums are pounding, the riffs are heavy and powerful, Patton spitting the words between his tooth. This one feels quite Faith No More actually, definitively would fit in the spirit of the “Album of the Year”.
“A Thousand Eyes” slowing down again, the gloominess got cutting edges, the vibe it’s similar to “I.O.U.”, but this time the things are all tide up together.
“Rise Up Dirty Waters” juggling between the dark and slowly pulsing moments and the rocking hard eruptions. The quieter passages benefits from a brilliant jazzy bass riff of Trevor Dunn, while the noisy answer have an industrial edge – beautiful parallel!
“The Quiet Few” grinding slowly at first then speeding up like hell at the end, it’s like the worm eating his way through a rotten apple. At least that’s how I felt it.
“I Can Almost See Them” starts with another nice bass line of Dunn, the tension it’s growing slowly throughout, but once again stops quite unexpectedly right before the presumed big finale. Another coitus interruptus? The torture definitively it’s intentional.
“South Paw” it’s another solid rock ride with roots back to Faith No More (“The Gentle Art of Making Enemies”), but with the grinding teeth of Tomahawk. One of the best moments of the album, less experimental, less abstract, but good-old-fashioned, positively tensioned and flowing rock song.
“Choke Neck” it’s a sick, twisted out “ballad” in this sick and twisted out Tomahawk spirit. Actually halfway between Tomahawk and Peeping Tom.
“Waratorium” take us back on the path of straight, pounding rock and somehow I prefer this more intense, more alive, more direct type of rides.
“Baby Let’s Play _____” it’s another dark trip into obscurity. Heavy bop. You said Bondage? S*it!
“Typhoon” close the album in a more Rock’N’Roll fueled spirit with a pounding, upper-beat gallop which truly feels f*cking good.
Well, not a walk through of the park on a sunny Sunday noon for sure, Tomahawk make you sweat, needs your full attention and leave you quite jaded at the end, but I guess this was the whole point. Listen it throughout several times, try it louder, quieter, with headphones and with loudspeakers, but still not absolutely sure about it.
Patton and his team mates dig out a lot of skeletons from their closets and share some wicked secrets. All those things we, “normal” human beings (or odd fellows….), we should hide. “Oddfellows” it’s a subtle juggling between the dark and the pouring light, between Rock And Roll and genderless experiments with sounds, it’s so Tomahawk.
This is love it or hate it type of music, no such thing as “safe” or “in between”. It’s dangerous. So, I will listen it again.