I was in for a very special treat last week on Tuesday, February 19th to see rock supergroup Tomahawk reunite for the first time in 10 years. They played live at the Mayan Theater in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate a new era free from the apocalypse.
The show’s opening band was Southern California’s own Retox who went on tour with Tomahawk throughout the west coast. Both Retox and Tomahawk are on the same label called Ipecac Recordings, which is managed by former label manager of Alternative Tentacles Greg Werckman and Mike Patton the singer of Tomahawk, Fantomas, and formerly of Faith No More. Retox’s singer is none other then Justin Pearson a man of many great bands such as the Locust, Swing Kids, Crimson Curse, and All Leather, to name a few. Pearson screams witty lyrics of song titles such as “A Bastard on Fathers’ Day” and “The World is Ending and Its About Time.” I think Retox combines punk, post-punk, and hardcore to make a truly unique sound of their own. The guitars are spacey and heavy with former Festival of Dead Deer guitarist Michael Crain while the drums are fast and heart-pounding. Most of their songs rocket in at shorter lengths within one to two minutes of pure, fist pumping hardcore music. You can listen to most of their songs at: https://retox.bandpage.com/ or buy the album “Ugly Animals” on iTunes.
According to Tomahawks website they never broke up and this tour is not a reunion. Ipecac states “they took a break to discover the many truths of the universe.” Tomahawk in my opinion is a true rock n’ roll supergroup composed of the singer and keyboardist Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, etc), Duane Dennison on guitar (the Jesus Lizard, Unsemble, etc), John Stanier on drums (Helmet, Battles, etc) and Trevor Dunn (Fantomas, Mr. Bungle, etc) on bass.
The crowd first witnessed the band’s sarcastic humor with about 30 minutes of the tribal, tomahawk war cries in between bands. By the time they came out to play everybody was ready for some Tomahawk action. Tomahawk rocked through all of their albums such as one of my favorites’ Mit Gas, Anonymous, Eponymous to Anonymous, and the newest album released in January called Odd Fellows. As soon as Mike Patton begins to scream, Duane and Trevor shred on guitars, and John pounds the drums this put the crowd and myself in some serious head banging. When I heard my favorite song “Captain Midnight” for the first time live this evening, I honestly felt goose bumps. Tomahawk ended with an encore even consisting of some Bad Brains anthems.Tomahawk can be described in many genres such as metal, alternative, rock, tribal, and experimental. Some of my favorite songs are “Birdsong,” “Captain Midnight,” “Sun Dance,” and a new one “Stone Letter.” Check out and go buy their new album called “Odd Fellows.” You should buy the vinyl version with album art from cartoonist Ivan Brunetti or for digital enthusiasts you can buy it on iTunes.
Review and Photography by Carey Steinberg