Jesus, Melvin! Put On Your Helmet if You're Going to Bungle, Mr.! Faith? Fuck You!
*special introductory paragraph!
*Mit Gas

Michael J. (or whatever) Patton is one busy guy who used to shave his hair on the sides like me! He runs a record label, puts out crappy solo albums, works with Fantomas, Peeping Tom and a billion other collaborations, has billions of Faith No More fans chasing him everywhere telling him how much they loved Introduce Yourself, and here he goes again, forming another "super-band" - this one called TOMAHAWK. His cohorts in this rock/art massacre include snakefingered guitarist Duane Denison (the Jesus Lizard, Denison/Kimball Trio), goofy-headed bassist Kevin Rutmanis (Cows, Melvins) and indescribable (by me, at any rate) drummer John Stanier (Helmet and Mark of Cain). Then he fired Kevin Rutmanis.

Tomahawk - Ipecac 2001
Rating = 8

I've asked my hands to go ahead and write this review because my brain is exhausted from having to think up a bunch of synonyms for "boobs" to yell at the broads in my office all day. So take it away hands.

it's ioing ti take forever to write this review if you don't get lefty off your balls.

Look, if my hands are gonna be a prick about it, I'll write it myself the fucking fucks from Fuckville, Fuckstate, Fuck.S.A.

This may come as no surprise but I'm still pleased to say it - Tomahawk sounds like a cross between orchestrated/synthy Faith No More, eerie notey twang tickle Jesus Lizard, oddball sound- effect filled Melvins and the diversity of Helmet's Betty period! As a huge Jesus Lizard fan, it's a total treat to hear this recognizable style again, even if it's at times dragged into the lulls of Mike's screaming keyboard-washed overdramatic excesss. Not enough Cows influence for my tastes (there's a little slide bass but not much - and no Shannon Selberg!), but still an intriguing and worthwhile disc. Great production, strange dark songs of all types (country/westernish, slithery Jesus Lizard riffing, pounding rocks, nervous clicking in weird time signatures, jazziness, bells, distorted slide notes) - if you've ever heard Faith No More and The Jesus Lizard, you should really be able to put their styles together and picture EXACTLY what this record sounds like. But, again, with that zany collection of genre-bending displayed on Helmet's Betty (as opposed to the other Helmet albums, which feature detuned notes and are heavy).

If you HAVEN'T heard Faith No More or The Jesus Lizard, (A) you should do so and (B) what you've got here is a bunch of really neat avant rock tunes - ALL VERY DARK IN ATMOSPHERE - with really cool guitarwork, simmering moodiness that abruptly breaks out into unexpected violent breaks, and extra elements of alone-in-the-woodsness (whistling, bells, warped and sliding production, screamed lyrics like "The cat's in the bag and the bag's in the river!") creating an overall feeling that you're stuck in that movie Deliverance, even though there's no banjos on here.

I'll see if I can get ahold of the original tapes and overdub a really loud banjo on top of every song. I can't actually play the banjo, but I have some Steve Martin albums so I could just take like a 5-second loop from one and play it over and over again at three times the volume of the other elements of the song. Then I will add some phat beats and re-release it as P. Diddy's Tomahawk.

Reader Comments (J. Alora)
So, I'm sitting alone in my bedroom masturbating to a print-out of Mark's wedding photo when my Mom walks in on me. Luckily, I was able to convince her I was jerking it to the cactus and not Herr Prindle and she let me be. Now, Tomahawk... is okay I guess. Not as good as Faith, Bungle, or maybe even Fantomas, but you really can't go too far astray with a Mike Patton project (even if he is a greasy-ass son of a bitch); "Flashback" is my favorite song on the disc. A solid seven.
I agree with you here, Mark. Although I've never heard The Jesus Lizard, I've been around enough of Mike Patton's stuff to hear some of the influence on the album. I think that the CD occasionally drifts into the forgettable melody department, but most of these songs really get stuck in your head. Does anyone else aboslutely love Cul de Sac? I don't know what it is about that song, but I can't get enough of it. Point And Click is another one of my favorites here, and who could not like Laredo? Oh, and Narcosis is such a cool album closer. Over all, this is a cool little album, and it's nice to hear Mike Patton doing something moderately accessible again. I'll give this one an 8.
I couldn't agree more. I have listened to this disc for two months now and it gets better with each listen.
I've not heard the Tomohawk record so can't offer an opinion on that, but thought I'd clear up the "what the hell is the Mark of Cain" mystery for you. Mark of Cain are an Australian band with a sound somewhere between Rollins Band (Andrew Weiss era) and Helmet (Strap It On/Meantime era). They have been around for about fifteen years and have connections to both those bands in that Henry Rollins produced their 1996 album Ill At Ease and John Stanier played drums on their 2001 record "This Is This". Highly recommended if you like that sort of thing. (Robyn Crabb)
Hey Mark,

Just thought I'd let you know, The Mark Of Cain are a great hard rock/alternative band from Australia that John Stainer now drums for. They're sound is somewhat reminiscient of Helmet on occassion, but they have been around since 1989, they aren't a shameless early 90's alt-rock rip-off or something like that. I've seen TMOC live a bunch of times, and they are fantastic. If you like heavy rock with powerful grooves, thumping drums, thick bass lines and intense lyrics centring around themes like social commentaries and human violence and reason, then check them out. They are brilliant. They're not nu-metal or some half-arsed grunge imitation, they are an incredible band. Just thought I'd let you know. I saw Tomahwak live a while back, and while being a somewhat odd musical experience,it was a quality show. (Amelie Nonead)
Mike Patton rules! The Tomahawk concert kicked ass. He is a genius! God Hates a Coward is my favorite song on the Tomahawk album. Number one in my book! (Matthew Filler)
Regarding the Tomahawk review---- This album wasn't terribly interesting to me at first, but after a number of listens it registers. It's a great record. You can't go into a Patton influenced project with preconceptions. You can't have expectations from this guy to sooth every musical craving you have. Listen to other shit too. Anyway, sorry about the preaching... The only person who I don't think has any influence over the sound in this group is John Stainer. Not to be a dick, but he's nothing special. He's not versatile or musically diverse. He just plays a role.. which is okay, but I like Patton bands where he's not the complete center of attraction.... like Fantomas or Bungle. Stainer's generic and he makes the group sound more plain then they are. He's an asshole too.. hung out a couple times with him. Arrogant guy because he was in Helmut... Fuck Helmut.. lame as hellllll... Sorry, I'm pissed today. Hey Mike, those Patton solo projects tend to be difficult to listen to, but cut the guy some slack... he wants to experiment... when you have the freedom to do so, you gotta embrace that. Who gives a shit... Anyway, love your site. Thanks
Man i can't get into this at all. It's very, very, very dramatic and i dont know why but i've never been able to stomach mr. patton's vocals. The mood never really changes either, but i can't use that as a reason because i like lots of one sided albums. I thought Patton's EP with the Dillinger Escape Plan was great so i gave him a second chance. It's obvious he's a very talented fellow, but if you aren't really a big fan of ha-ha's in your music, you might feel like i do about him. Fuck i sound like a prick.

Add your thoughts?

* Mit Gas - Ipecac 2003 *
Rating = 10

Is there a man among us who doesn't remember the delight of an Atlanta Braves "Tomahawk Chop"? I doubt it indeed. Some would like to argue so, perhaps, but those would be the easily offended Native Americans, one of the most distressingly politically correct and liberal groups of people in the country today. Personally I say send 'em all back where they came from and leave America to the Americans, but no, we continue to throw them bones like gambling casinos and alcohol, making America into the Communist Socialist Welfare State envisioned by the reddest president we ever allowed to take office, Teddy Roosevelt. Or Franklin, whichever one did all that progressive crap. But enough about me, let's talk about Tomahawk.

Last night, Me went to see Tomahawk, the Melvins, Isis and Tony Case's High-Powered Rollerscooter play a live session at NYC's exclusive Irving Plaza at the corner of 15th Street and Irving Place (which is between 4th and 3rd down by Union Square where the blowjobs are free). I took my Mr. Show book, of course, because I'm an old man (look at my wife! She's a lot like you are! I hope so anyway, because every time I nail her, I fantasize about YOU!) and standing up for music is for a younger people. My name was on the guest list of course because I'm a world-famous man with world-famous friends in world-famous places (the bassist for Tomahawk and the Melvins is a very nice man who was kind enough to put a nobody like me on the list following an interview he was kind enough to grant me a couple months ago), and when I talk, people listen. Not to me, necessarily, but it's not like they shut off their ears or something. So presumably at least the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT that I'm saying something makes some sort of impression, as fleeting as that might be. Ears don't have a shut-off switch. Hearing aids do, but I'm not talking about the amazing world of the future here. As for Jimmy Jack's Naked Club Brigade, I don't think they showed up because I got there fairly early and right when I got there, Isis took the stage. I like Isis - their songs are very long, dramatic and hypnotic. But who wants to stand up during that? I watched one great song, then sat on my ass to read. The next band were Chinese, Japanese, Dirty Knees, LOOK AT THESE! They weren't on the bill, but they played insane noise hardcore and the bassist was a cute Japanese girl with long hair. She seemed cute from five thousand miles away out in the audience anyway. Bottom line: it's gross and offensive when dorks on the Internet refer to women they've never met as "cute" and "hot." Dorks who do this are "losers" and "failures." This band, it was later revealed, were entitled "Banana-Pop" or something like that.

No, it wasn't Banana-Pop. Something Melt. The Melt-Pops. Melting-Banana. Banana-Melt. Something like that. But that's not why we're here! We're here to discuss the Melvins! And the Melvins were great! Until the end of their set, when they played some stuff that wasn't very interesting. But up until that point - KICKASS! They did that awesome new one that goes "jicka jicka BWEEOO! jicka jicka BWEEOO! (etc)", and the one that goes "Crawling!!! See me crawling!!!" from 10 Songs, and they did the first song on Stag and even "Zodiac" and "Night Goat"!!!! I of course was hoping to hear "Honey Bucket," but hey anybody could say that. It still wouldn't make it come true!

Which brings us to Tomahawk. Three important points that struck me as the band hitted stage: (A) Mike Patton used to be the world-famous singer of Faith No More, a hugely successful band with "Epic" that played stadiums and had trillions of fans. And now he is operating on what would appear to be a smaller scale - under the radar, if you will - yet the people who follow him REALLY love him and consider him a genius. So he's probably actually in a much, much better position now than he was back when he was alternative rock's sexy long-haired guy. Plus he runs Ipecac, which is one HELL of a great label. Back before it was obvious that I'm about to get laid off, I decided to stock up on all the Ipecac used CDs I could find and let me tell you -- it's WEIRD, WILD STUFF and I mean that, man! I like it a lot! Here's just a few of the many artists whose work I have enjoyed in my home thank you to Mike Patton and his Ipecac records: Isis, Yoshimi & Yuka, Pink Anvil, Ruins, the Young Gods, Moistboyz, Phantomsmasher, Skeleton Key, Steroid Maximus, Fantomas, ex-Girl, kid606 and DJ Eddie Def. Okay, honestly, that's not "a few" - that's ALL. But I'm still itching to hear his other bands, which include Maldoror, Kaada, the Lucky Stars, the Kids of Widney High, Dalek, Sensational, Mondo Generator and the Curse of the Golden Vampire. But enough about Icepack records! Ipecac, by the way, is a syrup used to induce vomiting. Now do you understand why I think it's the best label name of all time? Ha!

Which brings me at long last to the new Tomahawk CD. It's tense! Jesus Lizard times 10! SO dark! Excellent bass work! Extremely heavy, eerie and jagged hard rock -- Diverse too!, with forays into sick lounge jazz, ugly sex funk and even Tex-Mex crooning! Anxiety, Mike Patton doing the same exact stuff he always does, and (seriously now) a lot of smarts. A couple tunes are TOO "generic Mike Pattony (i.e. oversung verses followed by loud screamy choruses)," and "Harlem Clowns" is nearly 4 minutes of perfectly nice artsy drone but with seemingly nothing musical going on at all and an ending ripped off from a Negativland album. Otherwise, what kind of an asshole wouldn't buy this great rock album? Don't miss out on the present of rock music!

Reader Comments (Ian Galley)
I think you mean Melt Banana. One Cd has the Bungle kids on I recall. Load of clanging and shouting.

Anyway, you got a job yet?

Oh, wait.... there was something. Got it... No... lost it... yeah, Tomahawk review. Knew I'd finally get around to it..

And.. Well, this is pretty much what modern, radio friendly rock music should sound like. One foot in the past, the other (as well as the collective penis) in the future. I'm giving this one a high score too. Strange, as it's in one ear and out the other. You put it on and before you know, it's over. No 8 minute epics and such. Brisk. Makes you put it on again. Simple theory really. But there is so much packed into this that other fools would take to present over quadruple Cd's and such. I agree, you can get fed up with Patton showing off again and again, but here he's augmented with the arrangements so well that you specifically listen out for the technique like, you do when you unlock Almenz al Mundo. The band really do come across as a BAND, rather than, as in the first album's case, a super group (ahem) whacking out a direction. Maybe they are just a pop Jesus Lizard? Who knows? I'm for that anyway, (where is David Wm. Simms, the best bassist ever, these days? I would really like to know.) Mr D. plays guitar like it should be played, i.e. with invention. Your mate on bass does a good job, (especially on MayDay), but I give the score to the drummer. Aye, it's easy to take the piss out of drummers, but can you play drums??? That fellow can. Every track he does a Ringo and pisses over owt most could chuck out.

Lost my track, sorry. Plus points to the lovely packaging. The gold emboss is very nice. Ipecac really do try with design.

One final point. You should check out Dalek. I saw them in Manchester a while ago and, well, the scratcher really is the Hendrix of the decks, (well, I never heard anyone scream down a stylus before, have you?)

good night
Well, I agree with the 9, but seriously, is there any other record released this year that would come any closer to this one? i don't think so.... St anger? ...maybe Radiohead... the Patton genericisms are still there in When the stars begin to, which can be any other song from King for day fool for a lifetime, but it's Patton at least! it's not that Glassjaw singer or the other jillion singers trying to imitate Patton style for christ's sake! A 9 is ok because there are two useless mindless tracks Desastre Natural and the previously mentioned. Besides the weird spanish in Desastre, the song goes nowhere, bad Sinatra... i don't know...

I really love Rape this day though, it is very Melvin-esque and Capt. Midnight it's just a beautiful beautiful song, very modern and done it right. Great record!

By the way Mark. Could you ask Mr. Rutmanis if they have South America on their touring plans? Maybe the Ipecac circus can come here with all the bands, I'm sure they would do pretty good here in Chile. Patton has a lot of fans, and there are a lot of people missing Faith no more from the last time i think it was in '98. Patton was bathed in saliva that time and he seemed to enjoyed it! weird guy...
I agree with the 10! Probably my favorite album of 2003. Every track is different from each other, yet each song is similarly great(I don't consider "Harlem Clowns" a "song", but it fits the mood of the album somehow). Duane's tone is SO juicy here - even tastier than it was on Goat. The band is working together as a much more cohesive, tighter unit than on the debut, rocking especially hard on hits(literally - you put the song on & it punches you in the face through the speakers) such as "You Can't Win" and "When The Stars Begin To Fall". It may get slightly irritating being able to pinpoint the exact moment in the song where Patton will begin screaming maniacally before it even happens, but if you can look past that, you're looking at a goddamn near-genius collection of dark songs played in pleasantly varying styles, but always with that sense of weird fucked-upness that seems to permeate through everything Patton's ever been involved with.

One thing more: I like Skeleton Key too! At least, I know I like the Ipecac album I have by them from 2002. Supposedly, they released a 1997 album on a major label that was nominated for a Grammy, but I haven't been able to find it anywhere, so I can't say whether or not they deserved it. Oh well. Keep up the good, good work. (E.D. Miller)
Probably my favorite recent album by Patton... the other three members get their chance to stand out here, and of course Patton's performance is all over the place, but these are actual good catchy songs. Whereas Fantomas seems determined to take Mr. Bungle to its most abstract extreme, i was surprised by how, um, listenable this stuff is. Best Patton album since Angel Dust or maybe Disco Volante... definitely. 9/10.

Add your thoughts?

Anonymous - Ipecac 2007
Rating = 7

I don't know where you people "get off," but it would be great if next time I "get drunk" you not let me "get on the phone" thanks. Check out this pathetic conversation transcription - it may make you laugh, it may make you cry, but one thing's for certain: you will bask in the jet-green slosh of my patheticness.

Kevin Rutmanis, Former Bass Player Of The Cows, The Melvins And The Tomahawk: "Hello?"
Mark Prindle, Drunk: "Kevin?"
MP,D: "Hey! It's Mark Prindle from The Internet."
KR,FBPOFC,TMATT: "What's goin' on?"
MP,D: "Nothing. I got a copy of that new Tomahawk album."
MP,D: "It could use some Ruht-manis. Er.. ROOT-manis."
KR,FBPOFC,TMATT: "What? Sorry, I can't hear a word you're saying."
KR,FBPOFC,TMATT: "Yeah. What's up?"
MP,D: "Oh, nothing. What are you up to?"
KR,FBPOFC,TMATT: "Nothing. I'm just walking along the side of this road, so it's kinda loud."
MP,D: "So how've you been?"
KR,FBPOFC,TMATT: "Fine. What's up?"
MP,D: "Are you still playing music?"
KR,FBPOFC,TMATT: "Not much recently, no."
MP,D: "Oh, you're just doing the paintings?"
KR,FBPOFC,TMATT: "What is this? Why are you calling me?"
MP,D: "Oh, I'm sorry. I'll let you go."
KR,FBPOFC,TMATT: "No, it's just - you call me up and start asking all these questions. It's kinda weird."
MP,D: "I'm sorry. I just -"
KR,FBPOFC,TMATT: "Are you drinking or something?"
MP,D: "Yeah."
KR,FBPOFC,TMATT: "Ah, it's one of those calls."
MP,D: "Yeah, one of those calls."
MP,D: "Okay, well I'll let you go then."
MP,D: "Bye."

Now, you don't need to go and send me a note saying, "Hay loser, these people aren't your friends so stop calling them," because I realize that.


Another thing I realized is that, regardless of my Internal Knowledge that people are just people, I still think like a Fann Boy. If I didn't, why would my Top 24 Myspace Friends feature so many artists that I've only spoken to like one or two times, rather than all the people I actually exchange emails with on a fairly consistent basis? Like where the hell is that Frank guy with the girlfriend? Shouldn't he be in my Top Friends? And don't even get me StARTED about that Casey guy! He even defended me on an angry Ministry message board this one time! You certainly don't see Alice Donut in its entirety doing that. :7(

Oh sweet sweet mini-celebrities. Will you never cease?

As for the new Tomahawk album - what a fantastic idea! And what a great job they did with it! Still, it gets a bit samey as you'd expect.

E. Pluribus Unum

Hi, I'm E. Pluribus Unum and I often like to begin my record reviews by writing "Best" and then my name. This is because I want everyone to know that I am the "Best".

As for the Anonymous, it is the "Worst" Tomahawk CD yet, but let me explain before you start thinking Kevin Rutmanis had all the talent. Some time between the previous Tomahawk release and this one, guitarist Duane Denison of The Jesus Lizard fame got a hair up his ass that took him like four days to extract. Then when he got it out, he got this crazy idea in his head that he should find transcriptions of old Native American music. He managed to 'score' some and thought it was so neet that he made his band learn them. Thus, this album. Yes, this album is comprised entirely of songs written not by Tomahawk, but by people who WAVE Tomahawks! And build jolly colorful totem poles! And go "Hoy-yoy-yoy-yoy" while dancing around in a circle! And succumb to alcoholism, in a depressing turn of events.

Let me stress this again - Tomahawk did a wonderful job arranging this material for a modern Youth Rock audience, giving each song a different feel through diverse electric guitar tones, bonafide Native American percussion instruments, strange ambient noises, light synths, sound effects, and a winning (though maligned by some) variety of Mike Patton vocal stylings. If you're thinking to yourself, "Doesn't all Native American music sound the same?," you're probably right. Nearly all of these songs are in minor keys, feature choppy rhythms, and find Patton singing the same exact notes that are being played on the guitar. However, to the credit of these three wonderful men, if there is anything that can be done to make an old Indian song more interesting, they do it.

Speaking not of which, I'm reading Beyond Horror Holocaust by gore movie reviewer Chas. Balun right now, and though I normally enjoy his writing, I'm beginning to notice that whenever he tries to sound off-the-cuff and hip, he comes across about 400 times lamer than when he just describes a movie. Here are just a few snippets from this work:

(pg. 108): "Now, in this Brave New World, it's your call, Bunky."

(pg. 114): "And those are pretty good odds, bunky."

(pg. 123): "So, who ya gonna trust here, bunky?"

For those unfamiliar with this sort of patronizing hipster journalism, it's called "shitty writing." I've never bunked with Chas. Balun and I'd advise you not to do the same.

Anonymous sounds more like the Sun City Girls (SCG) or Secret Chiefs 3 (SC3) than Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) or Sedgwick County Zoo (SCZ), but they d

Anonymous sounds more like the Sun City Girls (SCG) or Secret Chiefs 3 (SC3) than Tomahawk (T), but they d. Yes, indeed they d in life today. Here are some of the "lyrics" Mike Patton sings on the new Tomahawk album:

- "Oh oh oh oh!"
- "Hunda Hee-OH! Hunda Hadda-Ho!"
- "Hey hey Wadda koy koy!"
- "Skin Wakka Jew-Ah!"

Of course, he also sings some DUMB stuff too.

And to give you a better feel for how they make these songs NOT all sound exactly the same, here are a few examples of their courageous arrangement decisions:

- "War Song" = begins with buzzing on a single reverbed distorted note, then jerks in melodramatic theatrical choir vocals before closing with thunder and rain sound effects

- "Ghost Dance" = autoharp or something? Eerie! As eerie as a GHOST, some might say if some were inclined!

- "Red Fox" = Hip-hop beat, trancey, dark, with a neat recurring BEEP! like a car horn out of tune with the song. Perhaps that's Red Fox's hilarious garbage truck from Sanford And Son.

(And yes, I know how to spell "Redd Foxx," asshole. YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!!!!)

- "Antelope Ceremony" - Happy! So happy! As happy as an ant eloping with his beloved bride! That's what this ceremony is about, not some stinky animal with shit on his ass.

- "Omaha Dance" - New agey and meditative, with Mike dusting off his old Faith No More vocal style.

- "Sun Dance" - Native American surf-spy, like a simmering Ventures song. Then dumb loud screamy metal part.

- "Crow Dance" - Bird noises and a piano.

- Others - Stuff.

I know things have been crazy around here lately and I want to apologize. But I do hope that I've at least gotten this point across: The new Tomahawk album is hindered by the fact that all of its songs date from the turn of the century and, thus, aren't exactly the most memorable riffs you're ever going to hear. However, the fact that Tom & The Hawks were able to take this particular collection of ancient, soundalike music and craft it into an eminently enjoyable, aurally fascinating and surprisingly diverse full-length CD is testament to their gigantic brains and artistic vision. My compliments to the chef!

The INDIAN chief, that is! Heh heh heh.

Yes, I suppose I did actually write "chef" the first time. FUCK!

Reader Comments (Michelle Moricola)
I think the man and I are gonna have to make a trip near midnight on the full moon to the Indian burial ground down the road with a boom box and this CD. I'll let you know if we conjure up any Indian zombies. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to try and coerce said zombies to make house visits to the members of Tomahawk (I'll leave Kevin out of this, of course). (Casey)
Whoa, I got a mention in the new Tomahawk review. That's pretty cool. Suck on that, Mr. HCI! I've had this album burnt for a week and havn't checked it out yet. Been meaning to, it's my introduction to Tomahawk. I've been on a huge downloading frenzy lately of checking out obscure and cool music I havn't had the patience to in the past. I listened to Bungle's California 3 times, whereas before I would get bored by track 5 and throw on some metal or something. I'm trying to expand my tastes more than 80's thrash metal releases so much.

And that phone call transcription was hard to read. Cringeworthy. We've all been there, only some of us without the drunk excuse.

Btw, my horrible friends who are sure to go to hell with the rest of us love your jesus joke in the zappa pages. A classic.

I just realized if I downloaded 2 Zappa cds a year, which is about the rate I've been going in the past 3 years of procrastination*, it'll still take me like 38 years to get them all. Jesus christ(pose).

*I hate that word. You hear all the kids using it now like they're advanced or something. It must've been featured on an episode of The Real World recently.

Okay, TRW is a guilty pleasure sometimes.

I listened to this 2 times. The first it was a bit meh, I really didn't expect it, I really wanted a rock album but no such luck. Anyways this is pretty good, the second listen I enjoyed it very much. I am probably never going to listen to it again but it is good.

Your review is dead on. I think Duane tried to outweird Mike Patton, but isn't up to the challenge.

The thing was that right after I got the album I spent some time on Navajo land. I heard their native music in museums and played by a tour guide. But you know what the natives actually listen to? Country and rock from what I overheard and the t-shirts I saw. So Duane goes largely dead music that is only played for tourists and possibly in certain religious ceremonies. That there says it all.
Weird. I had a cringe-worthy drunken encounter with Duane Denisson a month after this came out! He was playing with his other band USSA at a small venue, and I arrived after working on a case of Sam Adams during a party which ended up fading out. As he was setting up, I went over to him and drunkenly told him how "Goat was the album that got me through my freshman year!" and how I got that album and Tomahawk's first album on the same day WITHOUT REALIZING YOU WERE IN BOTH! SMALL WORLD AIN'A?! Ah, well. At least he wasn't an asshole or anything thing. After a moment or so of babble, he asked if I liked Anonymous, but he seemed to be expecting a negative response, so I guess he's not to big on how it turned out. Personally, I think it's really good. I really like odd traditional/ethnic influences in rock which it does nicely, but it still has the paranoid Tomahawk sound to it, despite that Mike Patton's schitk is getting old, and Kevin is missed.
Hi Mark,
This cd has been out nearly a year now, so I am allowing myself more time to think about it than you do when you have to run a contemporary record review resource, but here goes. When I first got the cd I was expecting, as I suppose most people were, another hard rock/metal edged album of darkness, perhaps an evolution of Mit Gas. Tomahawk usually have Patton's catchiest, most "straightforward" (by his standards) songs, and they are the Patton band you could hear at a rock club, rock out to etc.
When the first song started, with its ominous tones, this view was compounded within me - I was sure this was about to kick into another "Birdsong" after scaring us for a few minutes with dark buildup. When the buildup climaxed in a jerky rhythm, not that heavy, I was disappointed. I kept waiting for the "Birdsong", so to speak, and it never came. the first listen was severely underwhelming. After another couple of listens I came to the same conclusion, thinking it somewhat of a waste of a tomahawk album - the last one was 4 years before, and I thought if this project was going to come out it should have been under a different name, as Patton has very little time to spend with each project at a time. So Anonymous was left, anonymous within my collection.
Then I was writing my dissertation and essays following it, (which caused a few other mails to your site!) and gave it another listen. And then another 10 listens or so, and in the past month or two I have been listening to it a lot, and it's actually brilliant! Maybe I am a brainwashed Patton-ite after all these years of being a fan, but I am goshdarn loving this album. I was in a museum with a giant totem pole, and stared at that for a while listening to Omaha Dance, and the lyrics of "we walk against the wind/we swim against the current" really resonated. It's a great album if you let your imagination go a bit, imagine what you are listening to and the concepts behind it (I think). The album veers from intensity to sinister relaxation (as Patton loves to do), and is very nicely structured. Granted it does have something of the "project by mail" feel to it that dogs some of Patton's far flung creations (vs X-ecutioners, I am looking at you), but I think it really all comes together once you get to know it. It's intense, happy, sad, rousing and a bit heavy. And more! I think you sell Crow Dance short too - I freakin love the "oh the crow, our father" refrain!
Anyways, that was long and a bit pointless, but in conclusion - 9/10 for Anonymous. A heartening release from Patton after a couple of underwhelming ones. The big man is back (I hope).

Thanks again for the site, keep up the sterling work!

PS - the lyric you describe as Skin Wakka Jew-ah is "Skin Walker Skin Walker, you are" I think. It's a creature in Native American mythology who can transform into anything it wants to. Sorry to be overly geeky.
PPS - I think the new Secret Chiefs 3 album is out today - will be getting that when my next student loan arrives...been waiting 4 years for it too!
Hey Mark,

I don't usually comment on old reviews, but don't you hate it when you completely change your mind on something? I want to take back my original comments. What happened to rkay51 is exactly what happened to me. It's grown on me like a fungus. There is nothing like it and there are a lot of subtle things that you don't notice at first. "Totem" is completely awesome. Anyway, it isn't one of those albums that you need to listen to 5 or 10 times to "get". It's more like 50.

Add your thoughts?

Both of these CDs are available at the link provided underneath these words (secretly, hidden)

Back to Mark Prindle's Shark Joke Book, featuring the Classic "Why did the shark cross the road?" "To get to the other TIDE!"