The upward trajectory of progressive rockers TAUK reads like a fairy tale for musicians. Formed on Long Island, TAUK quickly made a name for themselves in the jam scene with their unique sound. So unique, in fact, that it poses a challenge to summarize in words. It’s as if the band Rush dialed up the funk, and made their music entirely instrumental. The band sticks to their sound with a steadfast diligence on their third album, Sir Nebula, and it pays off in scores.
Listen to the full Spotify stream below, and read on for the review that follows.
With the instrumental nature of the album, it’s guitarist Matt Jalbert and keyboardist Alric “A.C.” Carter who really have a chance to offer enchanting melodies. Jalbert gets the first notes of Sir Nebula, with a slow-building introduction on “Horizon.” Carter accompanies with otherworldly synth tones, before the full rhythm section kicks into gear. Enough cannot be said about the bass-drums combination of Charlie Dolan and Isaac Teel, who create one of the tightest pockets in the scene. With such a high level of rhythmic musicianship, the stage is set for Jalbert and Carter to explore.
If “Horizon” is subtle in into introduction, the next song, “Informant” dials in the listener with some serious funk. The song takes an ethereal turn midway through, with an edge that is uniquely TAUK. Meanwhile, tracks like “Time’s Up” and “Resolve” draw on more emotional tones, luring in listeners with drawing melodies.
From cover to cover, Sir Nebula is distinctly TAUK. Their tight musicianship underlies their ability to transition through various sections, as evidenced on literally every track in this new album. It’s no wonder that the band has seen such a rise in popularity over the years, and has even had the opportunity to perform with Umphrey’s McGee members for the occasional TAUKing McGee performance. It’s amazing what this band has been able to accomplish in such a short time frame.
Perhaps the one surprise on Sir Nebula is “Darkwing,” a song that opens onto an eloquent piano introduction. The change of pace does the band well, setting the stage for what ultimately transforms into a truly raging song. Once that guitar riff hits, there’s no turning back!
All in all, Sir Nebula is twelve tracks of TAUK doing what they do best. The band has found a sound that works for them, digging into elements of progressive, rock, funk, and jazz, all the while maintaining a toe-tapping, unrelenting energy. The sheer tightness displayed on Sir Nebula makes this release one of their best, as TAUK’s new music pushes them further than ever before. Their patience shines through, as each composition seems to build into an all-out frenzy. It’s a great listen, cover to cover.
TAUK will be holding a two-night album release party at the Brooklyn Bowl beginning tonight, September 16th, and tomorrow September 17th. For more information, head here. As we once said about this band several years ago: “In short, TAUK is unstoppable. If you haven’t see them, dear God, go.” They’ve only gotten better.