TOMAHAWK – ‘Oddfellows’

tomahawkTOMAHAWK – ‘Oddfellows’
Six years since the native american compositions heard on 07’s Anonymous, Mike Patton’s alternative metal supergroup are back with a return to the balls out eccentricity of their debut and its follow up Mit Gas.  Although perhaps not as elaborate, Oddfellows as an entire body of work transpires to be just as angry, just as downright psychotic and structured as anything they’ve written to date.  The title track opener is a typical dirge-like ditty that’s as heavy and dark as a rhino’s rear end.  Not the most attention grabbing you might say, but then the pacy and rhythmic ‘Stone Letter’ is classic Tomahawk; no fuss or flab just Patton’s inimitable bellow and  Duane Denisons razor sharp guitar picks and chords, it’s probably the most accessible track on offer.  A moody piano opens ‘I.O.U’ before a dense and echoing vocal guides us towards a light created by keyboards and guitars meshing together magnificently.  It’s as off-the-wall as you get and quite honestly, it sounds fantastic.  Welcome back!  ‘White Hats/Black Hats’ is another highlight that features a crisp, driving riff and pulsating bass lines alongside a Patton vocal straight outta the King For A Day locker.  ‘A Thousand Eyes’ drops down a couple of gears but is no less convincing, while ‘Rise Up Dirty Waters’ is absolutely deranged and draws immediate comparisons to Patton’s other side show Mr. Bungle; through a crunching riff giving way to some insane hollering and whispered chants.  Having reached a zenith of insanity the band quietly retreat inside their straight jackets on ‘I Can Almost See Them’, before ‘The Quiet Few’, the excellent QOTSA drive of ‘South Paw’ and the curious pick of ‘Choke Neck’ give Tomahawk fans exactly what they crave; adding hints of mercurial melody to the usual primal ferocity.  ‘Waratorium’ and ‘Typhoon’ close us out, each allowing Denison to flex with some chunky guitar chords, with Patton escalating into even more unfeasible lunacy.  So diaries have obviously allowed this collective to re-group and right some damn fine music that’s just as disciplined as their best work yet.  Did anyone expect anything different?  (8)
STEVE FLETCHER

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