With a membership sprouting from outfits that practically defined early '90s alterna-rock (Faith No More, Helmet, Jesus Lizard), Tomahawk possesses everything that would anticipate a dissonant brilliance from its latest piece of resistance, "Mit Gas." Yet after its underwhelmingly restrained and mediocre (though well-received) debut, a foreseeable sophomore slump on a magnitude somewhere between Fudge Tunnel and Vanilla Ice seemed in store. But for the most part, Tomahawk is finally delivering on its pedigreed potential, with 11 tightly wound tracks focusing Mike Patton's eccentric vocal persona amid the eerily tight rhythms of John Stainer, Kevin Rutmanis and Duane Denison. While some of the sterility and flatness that plagued its previous effort stills creeps in occasionally (the questionably inactive "Aktion F1413," for example), the pummeling riff of "When the Stars Begin to Fall" alone will resolve any remaining qualms over Tomahawk's chops. At the very least, "Gas" will have you recalling the sweaty post-grunge heydays, and maybe even second-guessing all the whine-and-cheese emo schlock and nü-metal you've been stomaching lately.
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