Tomahawk "Oddfellows" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Thu, 17 Jan 2013 09:54:23
Either you're odd or you aren't.
You can't really fake it. There are those who stand out from the crowd, and there are those who simply blend in. Tomahawk doesn't merely stick out from the proverbial pack, they lead it in an entirely separate direction altogether. However, they don't try. It's not a conscious, labored over pursuit. Tomahawk albums happen at the right time, when the music is meant to be born. The resulting monster then lives, breathes, and conquers. That brings us to Tomahawk's latest offering, Oddfellows.
Now, it's a triumph for the group comprised of Mike Patton, Duane Denison, John Stanier, and Trevor Dunn. They siphon their chaotic, catchy, and crazed tendencies into a collection of elegantly architected tunes. Make no mistake about it. This is the band's most infectious, yet simultaneously most intricate fare. The title track slinks from a hulking drum beat into an off-kilter riff that stomps along announcing the arrival of the Oddfellows. Patton's voice resounds deeply on the verse before proclaiming, "We're dancing on the gallows." Denison's guitar cycles intensely into an impressive chug propelled by Stanier's percussive thud and Dunn's bass wallop.
"Stone Letter" exudes the right amount of polyrhythmic zaniness as it floats into a huge melody that could only be delivered by Patton. "I.O.U." slinks from a lonely beat into a hazy hook, while "White Hats/Black Hats" thrashes with panache. Yes, you read that right. When Tomahawk kick into metal, they do it more stylishly than anyone. Flourishes of feedback wash over "The Quiet Few" before it sinks its teeth into psyches. "South Paw" proves to be four minutes of blissful darkness that's strangely sexy.
Then, there's "Baby Let's Play ____." Patton's croon makes for a moody gem that could appropriately pipe through a film noir lounge in Hell without anyone questioning it. Everything culminates on the punk surf madness "Typhoon", which lands one fiery and final knockout punch.
Oddfellows can't be digested in one listen. It takes multiple sessions to truly enjoy every crazed nuance, but that's why it's infinitely rewarding. Nobody does odd like Tomahawk. Oddfellows remains the band's best work to date and a masterpiece that'll make you headbang and think—maybe even at the same time.
The Oddfellows have arrived. Join them…
Tomahawk 2013 tour dates
Tuesday, Feb. 12 - Seattle, WA - The Showbox
Wednesday, Feb. 13 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
Friday, Feb. 15 - San Francisco, CA -GAMH
Saturday, Feb. 16 - San Francisco, CA -GAMH
Sunday, Feb. 17 - Santa Ana, CA - The Observatory
Tuesday, Feb. 19 - Los Angeles, CA - The Mayan
Will you be getting Oddfellows on January 29, 2013?