Disc 2 comes in strong with the pristine “Dirty Mouth,” before putting the pedal to the metal again on “The Chemist.” One TAUK’s greatest attributes is their formula. The band has a unique way of showcasing each of their individual talents, while at the same time giving each other enough space to keep the group dynamic intact. I see that especially in this version of “The Chemist.” Moving on into “The Spot,” the band begins to spread out a bit. This one has a slower tempo, though no less groovy, allowing for a minimalistic approach that blasts us into oblivion. Teel on the drums seems to be the only one outside of the less-is-more approach on this tune, as he wails on the drums like a beast, all the while never missing a single beat. Another deceptive lull as the intro to “Friction” puts us back into that comfortable groove… until… BLAST OFF! “Carpentino’s Rebirth” helped rev the engines back up in the intro, giving way to a light but fast-paced groove, featuring ecstatic chord work from Carter and frothy lead melodies from Jalbert. And then came the epic saga that is “Tumbler.” The bass is so deep it’s otherworldly, and Jalbert’s angelic lead compliments beautifully. Carter branches out for a solo early on, and the whole group takes the jam out into the ether throughout the middle section. After a long build led by the driving force of Teel on drums and an incredible solo from Jalbert on guitar, Carter takes another venture out into the lead, and the tune fades out. Finally, “Battle Without Honor Or Humanity” blasts the album to a close, featuring a guest horn section to add a bit of extra versatility to this awesome collection of live tunes.
If you have not had the chance to catch TAUK live yet, just crank up the volume to 11 and play this album, and you will have a pretty good idea of what it’s like. Aside from the irreplaceable interaction of adoring fans surrounding you, all dancing their asses off, this album provides an excellent overview of the live TAUK experience. It has a little bit of everything that makes them such an exciting band to follow, and I honestly cannot say that I’ve seen or heard any better performances of any of these songs than the ones they have chosen for HEADROOM. Bravo TAUK… bravo!