Reviews Tomahawk Tonic Immobility

Tomahawk

Tonic Immobility

It would be nice if art could exist in a vacuum. I’m certain that a person finding Tomahawk randomly on YouTube or Spotify or whatever would have far different opinions than somebody who has known of Mike Patton since Faith No More’s The Real Thing blew up, which is probably like fifty albums ago in the Patton discography. Personally, Tomahawk has always been something of a “listen on shuffle” band when it comes to Patton’s work -- I like it, but more so in isolated doses. A “just the hits” philosophy, I suppose.

The band shares some similarities with Faith No More’s more metal elements and, conversely, with Mr. Bungle’s softer side. For those well versed in those two bands, that means Tomahawk isn’t subtle. Some metal is hyper focused on its image. Tomahawk is focused on the energy. It’s forceful metal, more about the punch than the build-up. Patton has a great voice and great range, but Tomahawk is dedicated to chugga-chugga shouting at its core, rather than showing off the technicalities. It’s not all Patton, though. The rhythmic guitar sets the tone and reinforce the punchy vocal element, but it’s really the bass that seamlessly shifts between rumble and a peppy, almost jazzy sway with the ability to change directions on a dime. The lyrics, meanwhile, are angry and comedic: something of a parody of a metal band that sings violently in “typical metal fashion” about cartoonish concepts that are, well, not so violent or brutal in real life. It has a lot of the classic imagery and sounds, but at closer listen, it often steps into far sillier territory while delivered as dry, matter-of-fact genre fare. Sometimes Patton sings those lyrics longingly, sometimes it’s a coarse bark, sometimes it’s a vitriolic shout. Often it falls somewhere in the middle between the latter two.

From the hook-driven “Business Casual” to the spring-loaded “Recoil” to the almost literal barking of “Dog Eat Dog” and the melodrama of “Sidewinder,” Tonic Immobility is forceful and aggressive guitar rock that’s not driven by the solos, rather the rhythm. Sometimes that approach feels repetitive over a full-length record, but each song here is quite distinct while still fitting into the mold.

7.5 / 10Loren
Advertisement
KFAI - Undead
Leave a comment

Ipecac

2021

7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

Share this content
Related features

One Question Interviews Trevor Dunn

Posted Oct. 29, 2013, 7:50 a.m.

Trevor Dunn (Tomahawk, Melvins Lite, Fantomas, and formerly of Mr. Bungle) SPB: What part of your live show is the hardest on sound engineers? Dunn ...

Advertisement
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
More by Tomahawk

Tomahawk

Oddfellows

8.8 / 10 Tomahawk - Oddfellows album cover
Multiple Authors

It's been over 5 years since the world has been graced with anything new from Tomahawk, the pseudo-supergroup featuring the triumvirate of Duane Denison, Mike Patton and John Stainer. 2007's polarizing Anonymous was ...

Tomahawk

Oddfellows

8.6 / 10 Tomahawk - Oddfellows album cover
Multiple Authors

In the summer of 1992, my older brother drove me to Tower Records to buy the new album by a band called Faith No More. Angel Dust was quite a departure from their ...

Tomahawk

Anonymous

8.0 / 10 Tomahawk - Anonymous album cover

When Hank III goes on tour, he leaves no stone unturned, playing anywhere that would have him: cities, towns, hamlets, burgs and more than a few Native American reservations. This ...

Related news

Records New Tomahawk in March

Posted Jan. 23, 2021, 12:01 a.m.

Tomahawk has announced a new full-length called Tonic Immobility, scheduled for release on March 26 via Ipecac Recordings. It's the first full-length from the band featuring Duane Denison (The ...

Bands The Unsemble announce debut

Posted Jan. 6, 2014, 8:16 a.m.

Ipecac Recordings will release the debut from The Unsemble on March 3. The band includes members of Tomahawk, Einstürzende Neubauten, and the Silver Jews, forming an instrumental trio. More ...

Site News One Question interviews: Tomahawk, Melvins, Baroness, Twelve Gauge

Posted June 8, 2013, 3:52 p.m.

We're proud to introduce a new series here at Scene Point Blank: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook or twitter and we'll post one interview every Monday-Thursday ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.