Following up a highly successful summer touring campaign which featured stops at festivals like All Good, Camp Bisco, Electric Forrest and the Peach Music Festival, not to mention a date at the infamous Red Rocks Amphitheatre with fellow prog-rockers Umphrey’s McGee and Papadosio, TAUK is releasing their first live album, Headroom.
A hand-picked, dual-disc compilation of some of the band’s most explosive performances from venues like Terminal West in Atlanta, The National in Richmond and the AURA Music Festival in Live Oak, FL, Headroom is a great representation of a live TAUK performance. The sheer power the Long Island, NY four-piece generates is highly impressive, but it’s the small nuances in their heavy instrumental music that make them stand out, particularly. TAUK is easily able to morph in and out of layers of melodic rock, fusion, funk, prog-rock, hip hop and jazz that seems to always keep the listener heedful for the next twist or turn on the record. TAUK is certainly no one trick pony, just check out their cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” at the end of Disc 1.
Beginning with “Mokuba” from TAUK’s 2014 Collisions and “Afro-Tonic” from 2013’s Homunculus, the band provides a nice appetizer for what is to come: soaring and thoughtfully placed keyboards from Alric “A.C.” Carter, thick, oozing bass lines from Charlie Dolan, heavy-hitting, ear-popping crashes from drummer Isaac Teel, and the brilliant, melodic runs from guitar player Matt Jalbert. It’s no wonder why the band partnered up with STS9’s 1320 Records to put this album together. These instrumental rockers are cut from the same cloth, taking great pleasure exploring the vast and varied sonic portals that instrumental music can offer.
Tracks like “Sweet Revenge”, “In The Basement Of The Alamo,” and “Collateral” (which sounds like it could be a soundtrack for the end of the world), from the first disc feature the rich depth and texture that TAUK is capable of, delving through deep, dark valleys and crevices with great effects on the organ before peaking into lighter, more ethereal moods and tones in tunes like “Rainwalk” or “Districts.” Any number of these tracks could be mistaken for a relative to UM’s “Jimmy Stewart” jam sections.
Disc 2 begins with a breezy, free-flowing track entitled “Dirty Mouth” before giving way to the diabolical composition of “The Chemist” that finds all four musicians in lockstep, absolutely wrecking havoc on their respective instruments. An intense journey to say the least, as is “Tumbler,” the longest track on the double-disc album. On this track, TAUK dives off the deep end, really exploring what the song is capable of, taking it through sections of trance, rock, jazz and even some funk.
Impressively enough, TAUK’s Headroom concludes with a cover of Tomoyasu Hotei’s “Battle Without Honor Or Humanity” (with the help of some unknown horn players), a track that if you’ve ever attended a live sporting event or seen the Kill Bill movies, you’ve undoubtedly heard. The triumphant piece of music is a superb way for TAUK to wrap up their album, making it completely their own.
Try and pigeon-hole TAUK into some category or genre, but the fact remains is that they’re too chameleon like for any kind of label. They have enough musicality to knock the jam band enthusiast out of their socks and channel enough spacey, celestial tones and beats to allure the jamtronica or more electro-music-minded fan into the mix. They may as well be the poster children for bridging that gap right now. Pure and simple, TAUK BRINGS IT with (head)room to spare.
The album is out on 1320 Records September 4th and will be available for digital download at TAUK’s online retail shop here, at the Homegrown Music Network and all major online retailers. And for a limited-time beginning September 3rd, you will be able to stream the the album at the label’s website here.
Don’t miss TAUK out on tour this fall, check out their scheduled tour dates below:
09-03 Providence, RI – The Spot Underground
09-05 Norridgewock, ME – Great North Music & Arts Festival
09-08 Syracuse, NY – Funk-N-Waffles
09-09 Rochester, NY – Montage Music Festival
09-10 Saratoga Springs, NY – Putnam Den
09-11 Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl
09-12 Peekskill, NY – Paramount Hudson Valley
09-19 Bristol, TN – Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
09-22 Blacksburg, VA – The Sycamore Deli
09-24 Ferguson, NC – MANTRABASH
09-25 Thornville, OH – Resonance Arts & Music Festival
09-27 Guthrie, OK – TALOA Music Festival
10-01 Morgantown, WV – 123 Pleasant Street
10-02 Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater
10-03 Darlington, MD – Luna Light Music Festival
10-06 Lansing, MI – The Loft
10-07 Grand Rapids, MI – The Stache
10-08 Chicago, IL – 1st Ward @ Chop Shop
10-09 Milwaukee, WI – Miramar Theater
10-16 Denver, CO – Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
10-17 Boulder, CO – Fox Theater
10-22 Rockdale, TX – Art Outside