There is something very interesting and odd going on in Mit Gas [Ipecac] the second CD by the super-group, Tomahawk. Featuring ex-Jesus Lizard guitarist Duane Denison, Melvins bassist Kevin Rutmanis, ex-Helmet drummer John Stanier and the incomparable Mike Patton on vocals. Yes, this is a rock band, and quite a good one capable of producing remarkable “jams”-- but further than those limiting constraints exists a brave new world of exciting possibilities. Tomahawk does not fear that world. They embrace it.
It must be said: rock is in a bad place. Too many bands are achieving success plundering long-sunken ships. Fads are recycling and the smart kids (and record companies) are quick to get in on the ground floor with three chords and a catchy beat. Tomahawk could do that. They could do anything they want, but they choose to reach a little higher.
Picking up where the eponymously titled CD left off, (a recording that ages well, and was truly underrated by this reviewer in the previous Nighttimes.com pages,) Mit Gas is a strange and compelling follow up that again manages to challenge the way we think of rock music. Consisting of the standard four-piece guitar/bass/drums/vocals set-up, Tomahawk does indeed deliver the proverbial goods (“Rape This Day” being a quick example), while also diving into the realm of ambience, noise and even some downright beautiful moments. “Desatre Natural” allows Patton room to croon, in another langue of course. Nonetheless the result is quite stunning.
As was the case with its predecessor, Mit Gas will surely take a few listens to connect with many, but its effects are undeniable. Tunneling into the subconscious seems to be what these guys are best at. Already I find it impossible to think of putting on any other CD. I am enslaved. Join me.