[NWNA] Tomahawk – Tonic Immobility

Missiles, Steaks and Rock N' Roll? One word for them: Tomahawk. Meet the band and their new album, Tonic Immobility.

Tomahawk – it’s a missile, overwhelming where it passes, with no right of reply.

Moving on to music, Tomahawk stands for Mike, Duane, John, and Trevor. The band kicked off this bombast in 1999, with sporadic stops in 2004, 2008, and 2014. As you can see, they’re no longer new to these wanderings, but it’s one of those small projects that should be headed for another kind of stage by now.

Ah, sorry, by the first names of the elements you might not get there, right? So let’s put the surnames together: Mike Patton, Duane Denison (The Jesus Lizard, Unsemble), John Stanier (Helmet, Battles), and Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, Fantômas). Patton, the best known, immediately blows our minds with his other projects like Faith no More, Fantômas, Mr. Bungle, Peeping Tom, or even solo. He is a multifaceted musician who leaves his mark on any project he goes through. We’ve seen him on a rockier side, from rap to spoken word, or singing in Italian so well he could have been born in Bella Italia. In short, he enchants and modernizes himself whenever he can.

And Tomahawk are just that. This is the American band’s fifth album, Tonic Immobility.

Tonic Immobility

Tonic Immobility cover

We dream of a ballad, similar to Stripsearch, where excerpts like “I’m breathing stone, crying alone, I’ll win this race, I’ll leave alone, arrive alone” are the masters of our imagination. But with Tomahawk, we are at war – and even the sound vibration produces a warlike effect on our ears.

Tonic Immobility splits into a load of twelve missiles, separated by thirty-nine minutes.

SHHH! let us know what we’re in for: it’s rock, aiming for metal, pure and hard. Like a Tomahawk, these frenetic rhythms send chills down our spine from one end to the other. “I Know a Story too, I know but I won’t tell you (deep breaths), till I’m free”. Creepy.

Predators and Scavengers, the single that accompanied the album’s release, addresses, in short, and thick, the current state of our planet and climate change, coupled with the socio-economic health of the world and all its nuances.

Halfway through, we have Tattoo Zero, a nostalgic slow-burn where we remember the rich 80s/90s, where grunge was lord and master of our ears in the first seconds. Out of nowhere, we turn our face directly to a softer style and move on to endless riffs that will drive any fan crazy for more.

Closing in a controversial and disturbing way, we have Dog Eat Dog. A challenge about competition and oppression, where we see human cruelty at its worst, with two men fighting each other to the death…forgiveness, final victory. And what each of us can do to each other, for a goal. In contrast, images of dogs, so-called ‘animals’, appear in kind positions and postures. Irony at its most splendid. Mike Patton, in an interview with Eric Andre, from REVOLVER magazine, even mentions that “Dogs patiently wait, obediently, for humans to snuff each other out…so they can take over the world. Dogs rule!!!!”.

The missile has been launched, and it has hit the WtMM team with a bang: whether it’s the acidity of the rhythms or lyrics that take little from much, the band releases an album that promises to shake anyone around it, with a movement that is certainly unstoppable.

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