Tuesday marked the release of NYC based “jam band” Tauk‘s latest studio effort entitled, Collisions. It is, suffice to say, their best to date, though, admittedly, that’s not saying too much given the band’s only been around for a couple years. Still, in their short time, they’ve managed to make a name for themselves as a solid opening act for larger national artists but have done their fair share of headlining at smaller venues up and down the east coast. That’s not to mention the plethora of festival bills they find themselves on this summer and fall.

An exclusively instrumental group, Tauk does not fall into any real jam band stereotype. Their songs may lack lyrics, but never once when listening to Collisions did I feel I was missing any. Lead guitars and sometimes keys often drive a song and fill in any gap where one might expect any words, especially in songs like “Sweet Revenge and Dusty Jacket”.

Though no studio album for a band like Tauk could ever match, much less surpass the energy and instrumentation of their live performance, Collisions seems to do the best it possibly could. My first listen came during a cross state drive last weekend, and I found myself nodding along to every riff, often breaking out into their intended soft head banging.

Rarely, unlike a lot other bands in the jam scene, does Tauk seem to lose direction in their tracks. They may get slower at times, including the dubby “Tumbler”, but even that picks up towards the end. Speaking of picking up. If you’re into something a bit heavier than what your average instrumental band has to offer, you’ll like the self titled track, “Collateral”. The song really comes across like they play it with purpose and I look forward to hearing it live soon.

If I have one critique, I’d say I am totally on board with almost every artistic experimentation the group made on the album, but there’s a heavy, and often overwhelming and seemingly unnecessary eastern influence, especially noticeable and distracting on songs like “Mokuba” (which otherwise is one of the stronger tracks) and “On Guard”. Overall, though, this does not detract from the greater qualities of the album.

Tauk‘s six-month studio project is finally available to the public and the 10 track collection is well worth the price.

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