Tomahawk finally releases a follow-up to the underwhelming Anonymous, an album so odd that even trying to pass it off as one of Mike Patton’s weird “projects” wasn’t enough to justify its existence. Well thank Mothra that he is over his dalliance with Native American music. Cool head gear and generally awesome outlook on nature does not guarantee good music.
But back to now…
This is possibly the most accessible thing that Tomahawk have ever done, dare I say it even borders on the commercial? Normally around here this would be the kiss of death right from the off, but anything Mike does, he gets away with because he is the epitome of micro bearded cool. Oddfellows fuses the familiar subtle guitar work from the first two albums and adds more electronic parts and layered vocals. Hidden in are prog elements, jazz, even dance (in the vein of interesting 90’s dance like Massive Attack or Sneaker Pimps rather than Sash) and even some folk.
These are leftfield pop songs and that’s what makes them so damn enjoyable. If this was made by British Redhead warbler in residence Florence Squelch then I’m in no doubt Fearne “I bloody love everything” Cotton and the rest of the Radio 1 gurners would love it. But alas, Mike is not female, young or ginger so it’s unlikely that Oddfellows will have even a snifter of mainstream success. Therefore we all win and don’t have to hear it played to death. Hooray! Also, I’d rather sleep with Patton than Florence, and I’m sure you would too.
I love this. In fact I bloody love this. You can now refer to me as Will “I bloody love Tomahawk” Downes. Not perfect by any means but a return to form that will delight Patton aficionados. This band does not play it safe and sometimes the gambles don’t always pay off (as demonstrated by the last album and the odd moment on this one) but when it does it’s simply brilliant. From the understated opener to the punky bombast of the final track this is a most enjoyable experience that is just brief enough to keep you wanting more.
Enough arse kissing. If I do have one issue with Tomahawk, it’s that we will probably have to wait 4 – 5 years for the next one. How bloody inconsiderate of them.