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Tomahawk - Mit Gas
Label: Ipecac Recordings
Release: 2003

Tracklisting:
Birdsong
Rape This Day
You Can't Win
Mayday
Rotgut
Capt. Midnight
Desastre Natural
When the Stars Begin To Fall
Harelip
Harlem Clowns
Aktion 13FH
Mit Gas - Tomahawk
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Average Blamo User Rating: (15 votes)

Chances are, a lot of people will not know who the hell Tomahawk is.
Some have heard OF them, and a vast majority could even say "unfortunately, I've heard them".
Tomahawk had the honor of touring as an opening act on two U.S. legs of the latest (and probably best-selling) tour by Tool. The reactions were usually less than ecstatic, and the comedy of the situation was more of a questionable affair. Most of those that came just to hear Tool perform material going against the common status quo were, in turn, treated to four gentlemen in police uniforms wearing gas masks before their idols could even be seen.

Tomahawk consists of four "seasoned veterans" in the music business: Duane Denison (Jesus Lizard), John Stainer (Helmet), Kevin Rutmanis (Cows, Melvins), and their loudmouthed ringleader Mike Patton. Patton has been involved in many acts, ranging from the only famous act Faith No More to others that simply attract his own core audience.
Some wonder, what does Tomahawk sound like? If you know how to read... well, you already answered your own question.

What would you get if you envisioned Helmet, the Melvins, Fantomas, and Jesus Lizard together? This album.
Past music affiliations/influences run high on this release, more so than the self-titled debut released two years ago on the eve of Halloween. The record is varied in its approach, unlike the debut. The debut, while quite heavy and interesting, did not seem to showcase any of Patton's ideas or primary focus. It also seemed rushed in many ways.

MIT GAS is a welcome from what is normally heard today. It's catchy, heavy, and shares a dud or two like any other 'hard-rock' album. The Patton vibe is high and very welcome, making this more of a controlled environment showcasing his mad brilliance. Did I mention this guy doesn't sleep? He couldn't possibly... how could one have six separate bands besides this one?

"Rape This Day" is one of the biggest highlights for me on this record, as it probably should: it's very worthy of a single, and it definitely sets the mood for the rest of the record. The only gripe could be its length, because it keeps you wanting more. "You Can't Win" is a funky little affair, and even ends in a common Patton-esque drone sound dirge at the end.
"Captain Midnight" is one surely to get into the female Patton fan's panties: the typical crooner, only melded to the loud refrain of "Iím staying alive/Spinning my eyes just staking you/Take me away/I gave you the world, was all for you/But Iím sick and tired of wasting time". Ouch, Mike. And only to follow it up with a slow Spanish ballad entitled "Desastre Natural"? I guess that's how it works.

"When the Stars Begin To Fall" would've fit in well with the band's last outing: a full-on balls attack that harkens back to the days of when the Red Hot Chili Peppers didn't turn into old pussies with cellphones and mohawks. Get the clue. "Harelip" is probably the biggest standout track on this... it's more like anything Mr. Bungle or Faith No More would release than Tomahawk.

And what can I say about the last two tracks? If Sonic Youth could only pull songs like this out of their ass once in a while instead of performing 25+ minutes of beatnik wanking, they'd probably be so taken aback by positive fan reaction that Kim Gordon might not have to sing another song ever again*.

Diagnosis? Get it if you like rock and roll. What the hell else can I say? Chances are if you're into Mike Patton, you'll buy this no matter what anyone tells you. Seven.

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