The pandemic continues to be seen as a rare opportunity to resuscitate side projects – disastrous as it’s been for everything else – and Tomahawk are releasing their first record since 2013’s ‘Oddfellows’, which had relatively been left unnoticed back when it came out.
On Mike Patton’s ‘craziness scale’, Tomahawk are around the middle; there’s plenty of it, but without reaching John Zorn or ‘Mondo Cane’ levels. Lately of course, he’s been joined by Trevor Dunn (Fantômas, Mr. Bungle), in the peculiar duo’s calmer collaboration to date. What I most enjoyed about ‘Tonic Immobility’ was that alongside familiar, characteristic tracks such as lead single ‘Dog Eat Dog’, there is some melodic experimentation, on songs like ‘Doomsday Fatigue’ for example, which have a little bit of that calm flare/charm that 90s Faith No More albums always had, albeit without the same level of inspiration.
For the heavy stuff however, it must be said: ‘Tonic Immobility’ feels like a little brother to Mr. Bungle’s ‘The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo’, which features thrash metal elite players Dave Lombardo and Scott Ian, and gave us the opportunity to hear general Patton on top of some top-class material for the first time in years.