Tonic Immobility


Ipecac, 2021

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


On this, their first album since 2013, the alt-rock supergroup Tomahawk comes back swinging. It’s kind of hard not to swing when your members have been in Mr. Bungle, Helmet, and the Jesus Lizard, among others. The music for this disc was recorded at least four years ago according to bassist Trevor Dunn, but it took until quarantine lockdown for Mike Patton to finish up his vocals. We can be all the more thankful for that.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Opening track “SHHH!” deviates from the standard band sound with some nice picking from guitarist Duane Denison, but it’s on “Valentine Shine” where the full band sounds alive. Now if you like the band’s first few albums, this more accessible sound may not be for you, but if you liked the direct approach on Oddfellows, then you’ll be perfectly satisfied here with songs like “Business Casual” and “Dog Eat Dog.”

Patton’s lyrics on “Doomsday Fatigue” fit the overall opinion of most Americans as we try to maneuver out of this Covid craziness back into a more regular way of life again. This one is probably one of the most direct songs having to do with this insanity that has been out recently. But like every Tomahawk record, there are a few duds; “Tattoo Zero,” “Howlie,” and “Predators And Scavengers” just go nowhere. But the good songs here are strong enough to combat the weaker material.

Patton is one of the busiest men in the music business, so it’s nice to see that lockdown has slowed him down enough that he was able to revisit some projects left to gather dust and finish them up. But one can’t help but feel a tad disappointed with this disc after the godhead assault that was the last Bungle record. Still, I guess we can say it’s nice to still have Tomahawk around after all this time, regardless of the overall quality of the record.

Rating: B

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