Tag Archives: tomahawk

365 Days of Mike Patton: “White Hats/Black Hats,” Tomahawk (2013)

When Tomahawk convened to record its Oddfellows album, it needed less than a week to be written and recorded. This was a tight musical unit, and even though a new bassist had been hired, it was Trevor Dunn, the bassist in Patton’s other bands Mr. Bungle and Fantomas.

There doesn’t appear to be any great backstory to this song. It’s just Patton growling and then singing. Then growling some more before opening his voice once again.

There’s plenty of highlights on Oddfellows, which was Tomahawk’s first new release in six years. This song isn’t necessarily one of those highlights. But it’s pleasant nonetheless, and sometimes that’s good enough.

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

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365 Days of Mike Patton: “Sun Dance,” Tomahawk (2007)

Mike Patton likes creating themes for his various albums with his various bands. Fantomas recorded an album covering famous movie soundtrack songs. His Mondo Cane record is a collection of various Italian pop songs from the 1950s and 1960s. His third album with Tomahawk—after Faith No More, this is probably his most mainstream band—followed that pattern.

Like Fantomas, Tomahawk was a super group featuring Duane Denison (Jesus Lizard) on guitar, Kevin Rutmanis (Melvins) on bass and John Stanier (Helmet) on drums.

Anonymous was a collection of Native American compositions—which, as noted by Pitchfork, was (and this might be the most random sentence you read today) “researched by Denison while touring reservations with Hank Williams III.” “Sun Dance” was the only single to be released from the album, and yes, it sounds like a song that was originally a Native American composition that was researched on a reservation with a country music legacy star. Except this features Patton mostly chanting “Hey ya” over a grooving bass line and a mystical guitar sound.

Pitchfork isn’t exactly known to be nice to musicians in its reviews, and as the author wrote regarding Anonymous, “And here I thought Patton had run out of ways to alienate people and limit his own appeal.” But this song (and most of this album) is a pleasant listen, even if Denison’s influence is felt more than Patton’s.

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