FRIDAY

So some rock dudes get together, they wanna do this band, see. They’re all vets—from groups with names like the Jesus Lizard, Helmet, the Cows, and the Melvins. They even enlisted the slightly unhinged guy who used to sing for Faith No More, who’s worked on projects ranging from Mr. Bungle to Fantômas. This should—in a word—shred, right? Well, kinda. It’s certainly scary—no band with Mike Patton could avoid that label. And there are some moments that recall the best efforts of guitarist Duane Denison from his Jesus Lizard days. But overall, Tomahawk is basically that: a recalling of the best moments in the very respected musical careers of its members. And though Patton’s vague twang mixes quite nicely with Denison’s trademark guitar drawl (producing some of the album’s finer tracks), the straight-up murderous power that this lineup has on paper goes largely unfulfilled, even on the rockers: “Malocchio” and the Lizardesque “Sir Yes Sir” can’t seem to make it over their thunderous beginnings, no matter how loud Patton’s operatic vocals get (“God Hates a Coward”). And so, it’s good, see—don’t get me wrong—and at times, Tomahawk even makes me think of that time I got wrapped around that poorly placed pole at 930 F St (caught in a bad place at a Helmet show). It just doesn’t make me want to do it again. Tomahawk plays with Syrup at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at the Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. $15. (202) 667-7960. (Mike Kanin)

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