Review: Mike Patton's voice is his greatest asset

Review: Mike Patton's voice is his greatest asset. As one-time lead singer with seminal grunge band Faith No More, Patton's brawny vocals and pulverising performance style formed the band's signature.

In Patton's latest project Tomahawk, however, countless effects hack his voice to sonic splinters, while banks of electronic gizmos obstruct his wild movements. Ultimately, though, something pure emerges from the mechanical morass.

At the Ambassador on Wednesday evening, Patton's distinctive voice swirled down a plughole of electronic filters, allowing for menacing verses, chaotic choruses and creepy bird impersonations - although it was clear that Patton can affect such noises unassisted.

On Sir, Yes Sir, dark utterings emanated from somewhere deep inside his chest, aided by a brisk raking of his throat, before Patton convulsed wildly to the shattered chorus, cracking his microphone lead like a bullwhip to Kevin Rutmanis's drilling bassline. Juggling assorted microphones throughout a rapid fire set, Patton eventually performed a furious God Hates a Coward through an amplified oxygen mask.


Less breathtakingly, Patton's reduction of the audience to a potato-eating, whiskey-drinking, Brit-hating stereotype made David Trimble's recent assessment seem positively flattering.

Peter Crawley

Peter Crawley

Peter Crawley, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about theatre, television and other aspects of culture