Indie supergroup Tomahawk has just announced that they are returning and with a new album planned for January 2013 titled Oddfellows, their first since 2007’s Anonymous, a collection of interpretations of Native American music. While Tomahawk itself has lied dormant the last half decade, its members have not. Singer Mike Patton is almost certainly the hardest working man in music. He has kept busy with his soundtrack work, video game voice work (lead character in The Darkness), solo albums, and experimental progressive jazz with John Zorn. Oh, and he also, however improbably, reformed with his most high profile band, Faith No More, for a tour. These projects in addition to running the label he co-founded, Ipecac Recordings, has made it difficult just for him to find the time for Tomahawk. Also added in are riffmaster Duane Denison’s commitments to the triumphant reunion tour of The Jesus Lizard as well as his new instrumental group, Unsemble (with Alexander Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten and Brian Kotzur of Silver Jews) and other side project, Empty Houses, with members of Interpol. Drummer John Stanier has also been occupied as a full-time member of experimental rock group Battles.
Operating without a bass player since the tour supporting 2003’s sterling Mit Gas, the band simply plucked another one from the Melvins tree. Original bassist Kevin Rutmanis was in the Melvins for seven years, his tenure ending in 2005. Current Melvins “Lite” member Trevor Dunn more than ably steps into his spot. Dunn is also extremely familiar with Patton as they both started out together in Mr. Bungle and then reunited in Fantômas. With a full band intact, the quartet gathered in the studio (“dark and claustrophobic” according to Denison) together for Oddfellows, a different approach to that of Anonymous. The band also has a tour upcoming, the first since Rutmanis left the band, but only two dates announced thus far. Their glorious return to the stage will be at Voodoo Music and Arts Experience in New Orleans at the end of October and at Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest in November. More dates are to come, hopefully with a stop in the Chicago area.