Tomahawk - Oddfellows
The band's fourth album works. It's a hard rock triumph.
The best track here is "I.O.U.", Love is expressed by in haunting fashion by Mike Patton. You can hear a frightening musicality and beauty, which is reminiscent of Blue Oyster Cult on its first album.
An ace up the sleeve for the band is Patton's vocals, which can shift effortlessly to go with the tone of the music. Humor is evident on tracks like "White Hats/Black Hats" and the brilliant "Baby Let's Play___"
It's impressive so much can be accomplished in short tracks. The longest is "South Paw" at 4:00, and it doesn't drag a bit, using a boxing metaphor for romantic passion. The vocals keep the song from drifting into cliche.
Any type of style is within the group's reach. There's a jazzy sound to "Rise Up Dirty Waters" during the intro handled with controlled fury via John Stanier's drumming.
The band's playing is solid with Trevor Dunn, replacing Kevin Rutmanis on bass. Duane Denison's guitar work on "The Quiet Few" brings an eerie quality, which isn't overdone (not an easy feat, when you're delving in hard rock riffs).
The stakes are high. This is clear with the romantic desperation in the lyrics of "Choke Neck." The variety in song structure is provided without drifiting into art rock pretension. The subtle but edgy "I Can Almost See Them" is a good change of pace.
It's exciting to ponder what's coming next.
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