365 Days of Mike Patton: “Jockstrap,” Tomahawk (2001)

I’ve read a couple different reviews of Tomahawk’s first album, also called Tomahawk, and they refer to “Jockstrap” as a tune with a “jazzy undertow” or song featuring “jangly blues.”

When I listen to “Jockstrap,” I don’t really hear either country or the blues. To me, this song is kind of droney rock with a few punk explosions that break up the monotony. I don’t love this song, but I don’t mind it either.

In the YouTube comments for the video below, somebody said the song was ripping off Faith No More’s “Be Aggressive” (we’ll get there eventually), while somebody else said it reminded them of Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People.” I’m not sure I hear either song in “Jockstrap,” which just proves to me that nobody knows what the hell this song is supposed to be.

An old interview with Tomahawk guitarist Duane Denison—probably the driving force of the band—and drummer John Stanier might have given us a clue why there are so many different opinions about what the song sounds like.

“I wanted [Tomahawk] to be a rock band in the sense of you play songs. Songs, meaning you have auditory landmarks, recurring motifs, things that recur throughout the song,” Denison told TV Eye in 2003. “[Patton] does a lot of experimenting stuff, things where it goes all over the place, where the thematic continuity can sometimes be in question.”

Countered Stanier: “Each Tomahawk song has a complete mood of its own.”

Perhaps the mood for “Jockstrap” is a simple one: Maybe it’s just completely schizophrenic.

To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.

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