By Michael Themistocleous
Hailing from Montauk, New York, The Montauk Project devises a sound that mixes the grunge of Sound Garden, the garage rock of The Black Keys and the beats of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Montauk Project has been getting some proper attention from local press as they prepare the release of their debut album, “Belly of the Beast”, on March 25.
“Making this album hasn’t been about fame,” said drummer Jas- per Conroy. “It’s about affecting people—making them gravitate towards the music. It’s not who you are. It’s what you create.” A roller coaster mix of both energetic and slow-paced tunes highlights the album. A variety of influences help keep the music sounding fresh on each track.
The band is thankful of their hometown roots and it seems to be a major reason for the album sounding unique. “We’re not affected like bands in Brooklyn,” said guitarist Mark Schiavoni. “We don’t have the city around us, so we’re left to our own devices.”
“Belly of the Beast” isn’t the greatest album to be released from the Long Island music scene. It lacks the quality to age well. It’s an album that can be forgotten about as the band keeps releasing tracks and progressing musically. The production quality is pretty clean, but in comparison to bands like Life Between Sleep and Persona, it falls be- hind. However, as a whole, the album succeeds in keeping the listener’s attention for its length.
As a full-length album, it’s much longer than what has been coming out of the Long Island music scene recently. The scene has had EP after EP, so the bands have only had to hold the listener for twenty minutes or so, compared to The Montauk Project whose album is almost double that. Bywater and Persona have both released EPs that have been excellent, and while “Belly of the Beast” doesn’t live up to the same hype, it’s great to have something longer than five or six songs.
“It was very D.I.Y. [do it yourself] and it was all by ourselves,” said Conroy, who was happy with the sound of the album. “It’s an evolu- tion throughout the album. We were always changing and always grow- ing,” Schiavoni added.
Both Schiavoni and Conroy agreed they were extremely proud of the title track, “The Beast.”
“It’s a metaphor,” said Conroy. “It’s dealing with struggles, the pain, things being too tough, and overcoming things.” The album builds up energy at the first track and the feeling solidly continues throughout the album.
As for now, The Montauk Project are playing shows in Montauk and New York City, preparing the album release party on March 31.
“Eventually we want to do another album,” said Schiavoni. “We’re waiting for this to be released, and see how it goes with the audi- ence.” The band also has a new single titled, “Lady in White”.
The Montauk Project’s “The Belly of Beast” is definitely worth a listen. It has energy, pop, and some killer tunes on it.
Key Tracks: “The Beast” and “The Rainbow Song”