Of all the Mike Patton projects out there, Tomahawk is probably the one closest to Faith No More. Maybe it was the recent FNM reunion that inspired Tomahawk’s fourth album, Oddfellows, to sound the way it does or maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part. Either way, it does. Don’t think of this as The Realer Thing or anything like that but maybe, just maybe, think of it as King For A Day Or Two… instead.
Regardless of the comparisons, Oddfellows is a more solid, more cohesive, and ultimately more straightforward Tomahawk record all around. The title track and opener might go a little bit against my opening statement but as soon as “Stone Letter” lands, it’s game on in the pop department. Previously heard during last November’s RSD, “Stone Letter” is the one to give true insight into Oddfellows by representing the shorter , more direct song structure found throughout. “I.O.U.” spaces out a little but “White Hats/Black Hats” reins it back in. Drummer John Stanier is a machine throughout especially on the former and “South Paw”.
“A Thousand Eyes” and “Rise Up Dirty Waters” up the mystique quotient as Patton switches from a whispered delivery to a staccato attack especially on the latter. The longest track here, “South Paw”, is about as straight forward as they come and sees Denison get his rock on as the verse/chorus/verse procession rage on. Ending with the somber “Baby Let’s Play___” and country-tinge of “Typhoon” driven by bassist Trevor Dunn, Oddfellows ends just as “odd” as it began.