I won't bore you with how brilliant Mike Patton is; I'll leave you to find that out for yourself via the practically faultless Ipecac label he co-owns, and his myriad collaborations with everybody from art-jazzer John Zorn to apocalyptic punks The Dillinger Escape Plan.
I suppose you could call Tomahawk a supergroup, if you wanted to. Four indie-rock giants (Melvins/Cows bassist Kevin Rutmanis, ex-Jesus Lizard gutarist Duane Denison, former Helmet drummer John Stanier and the godlike Patton) simply having some fun together. No hassle, no pressure. It shows. It's effortlessly, impressively huge.
This is Tomahawk's second album. It is breathtaking at times. Opener 'Birdsong' starts like an alternative theme for 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', all Texas heat and an almost palpable air of menace, with the sound of small birds tweeting before the drums begin a relentless skittering, and Rutmanis' bass oozes out a droning riff. Minutes later, the song explodes into colour, and we're off on a perverse ride into Patton County.
Elsewhere, there's clever, angular punk-rock on the likes of 'Rape This Day' and 'Mayday', and tape-loop ambient frighteners like 'Harlem Clowns', but the standout track is surely 'Capt. Midnight', wherein Patton lulls us into a dark world over skittling drum & bass and lonely tremolo guitar, before unleashing a juggernaut of a chorus.
The whole album has a creepy cinematic feeling, one of late-night backroads deep inside America, where the shadows are full of people up to no good, and cars are filled with lonely, weird, desperate people. Possibly with a body in the trunk.
Investigate this album.