reviews Tomahawk’s Oddfellows:
Tomahawk’s Oddfellows is the closest thing to Faith No More that I’ve heard since Faith No More. And that’s good news for FNM fans. Oddfellows is a much more stripped down album than previous Tomahawk efforts, but it’s still full of energy, wicked intricacies (though tempered and controlled), and melodies to die for. And that’s good news for Tomahawk fans.
It’s been six years since Anonymous was released and nearly a decade since touring together, but Tomahawk remains as awesome as ever. When your band is comprised of such legends as Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle), Duane Denison (Jesus Lizard), John Stanier (Battles, Helmet), and new bassist Trevor Dunn (Fantômas, John Zorn, and the recent Melvins tour) it’s hard to fuck up.
Oddfellows is pretty scattered when you get down to it. You’ll hear that aggressive sound we love from FNM (“Stone Letter”), you’ll hear jazz and swing (“Typhoon”), you’ll hear spy vs. spy melodies (“A Thousand Eyes,” “Choke Neck”), you’ll hear uptempo rage and you’ll hear a lot of downtempo dream sequences (“Baby Let’s Play ____,” “Oddfellows”), maybe you’ll hear some surfer influence (“South Paw”), you’ll hear some Led Zeppelin (“Choke Neck”), and you’ll hear Mr. Bungle abstract (“White Hats/Black Hats,” “Rise Up Dirty Waters”).
Somehow, all these elements gel. It comes together like black magic or vampire lust. It’s a testament that/metal (whatever genre you want to put Tomahawk in, I don’t care) can be Mensa caliber. I won’t call Tomahawk progressive, not just because they’re not, but because prog is like Harvard, intelligent and arrogant about it. No, Tomahawk is just smart and “we met the devil at the crossroads” rock.
What’s great about this album is that it’s accessible without losing the uniqueness we love about Tomahawk. It’s never boring and it can be played in nearly any situation with nearly any company of friends you choose to keep. When the album does veer into half beats and Patton screams, it quickly comes back to center, limiting its offensiveness to the uninitiated.
Denison was the lead songwriter, and stated:
“The one thing I wanted to get across is that I wanted it to be fun and exciting and rock, in the rock sense of the word. This is not dungeons and dragons. This is not sausage party in the church basement, hardcore party with dudes only. No, this is meant to be played in huge clubs with alcohol and drugs and dancing girls and all those good things. You know we wanted to do it in a way that wasn’t stupid that has some depth and intelligence and insight to it. Whether we pulled that off, you guys are the judge.”
The Verdict: [rating:4.5]
Oddfellows is certainly up for one of my albums of the year in 2013. The album is interesting, diverse, and can be replayed several times over.
Rock Hard \m/
- Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
- Year Released:
- 29 January 2013
- Rock, Metal, Experimental, Alternative
- Official URL: