365 Days of Mike Patton: “No Flag,” Dub Trio (2008)

A few years after Mike Patton and Dub Trio, a dub/electronic/hard rock outfit from Brooklyn, collaborated on a song on Patton’s Peeping Tom record (we’ll get there), the four musicians reunited for a track called “No Flag.”

I’d never actually heard it before until this very moment, and after a couple of listens, it turns out I dig it. Patton’s voice is gravely and sparse at the beginning of the song—it reminds me of some of the work off Tomahawk’s Anonymous album—and there are some brief double tracks where his voice gets a little higher and subtly fills in some of the space. It makes for a nice contrast.

Then, abruptly the song changes into something more sinister and metal, like something you might hear from Patton in his Dead Cross band (we’ll get there, we’ll get there).

Dub Trio recorded this album, Another Sound Is Dying, on Patton’s Ipecac Records label (we’ll probably get there at some point). But Pitchfork, as is the publication’s wont with most of the music it reviews, wasn’t all that impressed with the record.

Wrote the website, “Dub Trio are a formidable dub unit. But as a rock band, they’re only passable. This is not for lack of chops; in fact, they’re almost too good. They’re referencing the Big Dumb Rock of 90s Amphetamine Reptile and Touch and Go. But while they have the notes, they lack the attitude. Prime AmRep seethed in cauldrons of noise and feedback; this record has a clean, upfront recording. Mr. Bungle also genre-hopped, but Patton’s vocals were a glue that this instrumental outfit lacks. (Patton does make a cameo in the nu-metal-esque “No Flag”.) Dub Trio are on to something, but they’ve yet to fully grasp it.”

Ooof, the nu-metal line is a little brutal, and it’s something with which I disagree. But then again, I liked this song, and I don’t want to be on record liking anything that’s nu-metal-esque. The late 1990s and early 2000s were too scarring.

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

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