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This is the self-titled debut release from the rock-n-roll super group, Tomahawk. Comprised of guitarist Duane Dension (The Jesus Lizard), vocalist Mike Patton (Faith No More), bassist Kevin Rutmanis (Melvins) and drummer John Stanier (Helmet) you couldn't ask for a better pedigree.


Faith No More overturned expectations with their 1997 swan-song Album ofthe Year, but merry madman Mike Patton probably checked out of the recordingprocess about five years earlier, when the group’s brilliantly cacophonousAngel Dust largely fell on deaf ears. In retrospect, Faith No More wasalways vocalist Patton’s most predictable songwriting outlet, and he waswell aware of the limitations of the band’s hard-edged, yet polished, approach.During his entire term with the band, he kept on renewing his membership cardin Mr. Bungle and began exploring other musical avenues of expression, stretchingthe limits of improvisational performance with John Zorn and—after FNM finallycalled it quits in 1998—slinging warped soul hash with Fantomas.

This year alone, Patton has proven he can outrun a cheetah, rolling out uniqueside-projects-including collaborating with hip-hop mastermind Dan the Automatoron an homage to Serge Gainsbourg and mixing movie soundtracks and white noiseon the second Fantomas disc—at an ungodly pace. And with future collaborationswith turntablist collective the X-Ecutioners and hardcore quintet the DillingerEscape Plan on the way, it’s a safe bet that Patton won’t be gettinga good night’s sleep until the apple drops in Times Square in, oh, 2005.Given his recent output, Patton’s obvious contributions—snarky vocals andobtuse melodies—on his latest project Tomahawk aren’t too shocking. What’ssurprising is how accessible the group’s debut disc is, despite Patton’sscatological ruminations and a lineup rounded out by noise-rock vets DuaneDenison (Jesus Lizard) , Kevin Rutmanis (Cows) and John Stanier (Helmet). Actually,the classically-trained Denison leaves the largest imprint here, bridging thegap between post-punk piledrivers like “Flashback” and ambient excursionslike “Narcosis” with his amazing guitar work. It kinda makes you wishPatton would drop anchor with Tomahawk, but it should be interesting to seewhat ace he pulls out of his sleeve next.