The Two P’s That Could
From humble beginnings in Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, Mike Patton has become a household name in the underground rock world, and has even managed to do some face-time on the movie Firecracker. However, it was easy to wonder if this dynamic musician had started losing the creative juices that cause women to swoon and men to envy after Tomahawk’s 2013 release of OddFellows – a bizarrely and troublesomely normal album. Patton’s collaboration with Anthony Pateras under the moniker of Tētēma proves that those creative juices are still flowing with abundance and that Patton may just be getting bored of Tomahawk and potentially the standard rock algorithm as a whole. Geocidal shows Patton at a new musically evolved state that only his most fervent fans will find as beautiful as it truly is.
Geocidal starts off with “Invocation,” a welcoming to the strange world that is Tētēma. A tribal drum beat with the addition of didgeridoos and the sporadic tap of a chime open a world of mysticism and adventure. Chants sit in the back-drop, only to break through the consciousness-expanding veil until the light buzz of a fly at the two minute marker introduces the listener to “Pure War,” an ecstatic jubilee of Patton’s war chants coupled with Pateras’ electronic buzzes and feedback loops. These songs present the Patton that OddFellows forgot, and the fans of Fantomas grew so fond of.
The album continues to use dramatic pauses, light buzzes and chimes, tribal instruments, and other interesting concoctions to build energy only to erupt in auditory orgasmic delight in songs like “The Hell of Now” and “3-2-1 Civilisation,” one of the only songs with actual words rather than Patton’s famous vocalizations. Pateras contributes beautifully with his trademark electroacoustic percussion use and one can’t forget his beautiful contributions to this album. This shines through in the song “Tenz” which is featured on Pateras’ website.
Geocidal finishes off with the beautifully ambient “Emptiness of Ectasy” and sampled childrens’ voices in “Death in Tangiers.” Both are a wondrous descent from this exceptionally well-coupled duo’s masterful and energy-fueled mind manipulations. Pateras and Patton, two P’s that were as destined for each other as Patton was with John Zorn. Not for the mainstream Patton fans, but definitely for any fan of his unique works.