This first release from Mike Patton’s Tomahawk may seem a little straight laced when compared to the eclectic insanity of the Mr. Bungle and Fantômas albums that preceded it, but it is this more coherent sound that really helps it shine. The overall feel of Tomahawk is one of dark brooding, with a bubbling undercurrent of insanity and destruction. Patton whispers, wails and gasps like a weary traveller in the darkened corner of a truck stop in the american south, his dark ramblings punctuated with the occasional violent surge, as he regales everyone and no one with his tales of the road. Beneath this, the solid musical base throbs with a powerful, country tinged metal groove, that seems under constant threat of bursting from it’s frayed restraints. The music itself is rarely spectacular, but it doesn’t really need to be. As with many of his projects, Patton’s voice is the star, but in this instance, it’s nice that the sonic weirdness has been toned down to allow the real focus to be on the fantastically diverse and talented vocals of one of rock music’s most interesting front men.

Review demanded (under threat of eating my dogs) by Craig, one of our loyal readers.