Written by: SC on 25/02/2013 02:15:05

Back in 1998 the legendary Faith No More broke up, which drove lead singer Mike Patton to start his own record label and form Tomahawk back in 2000 after meeting ex-member of The Jesus Lizard and guitarist Duane Denison at a concert. Denison recruited drummer and ex-Helmet member John Stanier that resulted in the release of their brilliant self-titled album back en 2001.

Six years have gone by since the alternative rock supergroup made their imprint into the music scene. Their new album is called "Oddfellows" which fits the soundscape rather well. On the album one will find some metal, jazz and pop/rock inspired tunes without it getting too weird and inappropriate and ruining the artistical expression. Tomahawk’s experimental approach makes "Oddfellows" an exciting but not an easy listening that after a few plays get under your skin and then it develops a lot.

An example of their experimental style is found on the sixth track “Raise Up Dirty Waters”, where one of the most significant figures in jazz in my eyes - the now late Dave Brubeck who made the fantastic track “Take Five” on his album “Time Out” from 1959 - seems to have inspired the drummer John Stanier’s approach to his drumming during the verse of the track while the rest of the soundscape is a slow, dark and a bit psychedelic. This is an exciting contrast to the chorus, which is a faster hard rock/metallic party clap-along piece with loads of aggression.

Mike Patton’s way of delivering the vocals is packed with this aggression leaking beneath the surface of this middle-aged profile and just waiting to get unleashed. His presence on the record is incredible and this just underlines the hulk that is hiding inside this rather small man. He is capable of singing clean low vocals, high pitch screaming and rough shouting, creating an unpredictable and varied listen. The title track “Oddfellows” is a great example of some of the crooked constructions you will find on the record with Patton’s big and controlled use of his voice.

Newest band member and bass guitar player Trevor Dunn does an amazing piece of work on this record. Especially the last track called “Typhoon” lets the bass guitar be the foundation of the verse part of the song as a thick thundering storm approaching you with intensity and an eagerness which gives the bass personality and catches the listener's attention.

“Oddfellows” is a very exciting acquaintance that just grows every time you listen to it, and the record meets expectations with bravour. Almost every single track has its own little characteristic that makes it stand up for itself but at the same time lets it fit in perfectly on the album. There is no doubt of how experienced and how talented these guys are. Production-wise “Oddfellows” has almost no faults and certainly nothing worth mentioning. There is plenty of energy and joy of playing embedded in the soundscape that just makes the record even more exhilarating.


Download: White Hats/Black Hats, Typhoon, Rise Up Dirty Waters, Oddfellows
For The Fans Of: Clutch, A Perfect Circle, Grinderman

Release Date 28.01.2013

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