Taking its name from Montauk Island, New York, Tauk encapsulates everything that the legendary island has come to be known for. Immortalized in the Rolling Stones song "Memory Motel" and Billy Joel's "The Downeaster Alexa", Montauk was once home to one of Andy Warhol's estates and frequently visited by his fascinating entourage, including the Rolling Stones.
Tauk's debut album, Brokedown King, set for release on July 13th, features an eclectic blend of funk, jazz, pop, and alternative rock. Produced by Grammy award winner, Robert Carranza (Jack Johnson, Mars Volta) it highlights the band's artistic and musical talents as well as the diverse, creative environment that gave the band their name. It is a celebration and a nod to some of their musical influences like Radiohead and Phish.
Although Tauk is still a fairly young band, I wasn't that surprised to learn that classically trained vocalist Alessandro Zanelli has been quoted as saying that the problem with the new digital age of music is that people aren't listening to Frank Zappa anymore. That speaks volumes about this band who have been surrounded by such a wide variety of creative influences but, as producer Robert Carranza says, what's most compelling about Tauk is their "raw power".
This is felt most profoundly on the funk/rock, jam-driven tracks "Eye to Eye", "Does It Matter?", "Hiker", and "Roll With the Punches".
The band slows it down to express a deeper, emotional side on the tracks "Turn Me In", "Drowned", and "Maybe So".
Their funky jazz/pop brand of fusion is clearly evidenced on tracks like "Eva", "Nail It Shut", and "Snoopy's Revenge".
It would be nearly impossible to force Tauk into a pre-designed genre, in Brokedown King, they've created an album that crosses the standard lines of most genres with experimental rhythms and an artistic panache that can only be defined as their own unique sound. They've spun a vibrant musical web that incorporates all of the mythological ambiance of Montauk, as well as harkening back to a time when art mattered most of all.