Tomahawk's second album, Mit Gas, opens with growling guitar and a peal of birdsong -- an apt encapsulation of the record's extremes. At one end, the jagged guitars and blistering drums of classic hardcore hold court; at the other, spell-invoking vocals and weirdly martial pomp lead the listener back to a fairy-tale land straight out of Dungeons & Dragons. A radically democratic band, Tomahawk considers no element too alien: Hip-hop scratching, ambient drone, and steel guitar all find a home here, but they never feel like mere decoration. The subtlest twang and the faintest tweak stand in relief against the dense mass of the music, like veins popping out on the neck of the headbanging punk who stands listening, twitching, and about to explode.
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