365 Days of Mike Patton: “Mescal Rite 1,” Tomahawk (2007)

Mike Patton doesn’t need to sing actual lyrics to convey great emotion and artistry into a song. If you don’t believe me, let me introduce you to “Mescal Rite 1” off Tomahawk’s 2007 album Anonymous.

As we know now—and as I mention this every time I write about a song off this album—Anonymous was conceived by guitarist Duane Denison after he went on a tour of Native American reservations with Hank Williams III. The songs, thus, are inspired by what they found and by the Native American music most people never got to hear.

Some of the songs on Anonymous do have lyrics. But some feature Patton chanting only. In “Mescal Rite 1,” you can hear him expressing himself even though the words are indecipherable. As one YouTube commenter wrote, “Hearing this song is like having an adrenaline shot.” (I especially love the “wooo!” at the 1:40 mark.)

There have been a few reviews of this album that aren’t impressed with Patton’s work. Pop Matters, for instance, calls him “more of an overbearing afterthought.” But I think he’s great in this song. And the emotion seems so real that you might not have guessed Patton was nowhere near the band as it recorded this song in studio.

Not everybody loved his performance on this album. But I certainly do.

Previously from Anonymous:

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

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