Reviewed by: Lee Callaghan
Evolution Music Press
September 8, 2018
As a thematic project centered around “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, Montauk’s debut album of the same
name is a psychological exploration of the journeys we explore over time. A reference to the ability to channel our
minds into the unknown, this project is able to channel this imagery into well-crafted songs which challenge the listener,
while entertaining with its pop/rock melodies and infectious harmonies. Maintaining the subject matter throughout
the album, Montauk is able to offer intellectual and mature lyricism to the genre, while maintaining the musical
credibility to be taken seriously. A reference to the Montauk Project, this album is a metaphor for the psychological
condition to open one’s mind and experience the possibility to achieve new abilities and enlightenment.
Montauk opens with “Doom Dust”, a spiritual piece revolving around the theme of exploration of the self, and reaching
a greater potential. An uplifting piece to open an album, as it sets the pace and puts the listener in a dynamic headspace
suggesting this album will inspire, enlighten, and entertain in one package. The lyricism offers hope, yet challenges, “I
want to take this world and shake it to the core, and let the people know that I got so much more.” Musically we are
presented with a quick picking guitar melody which coupled with the medium tempo, and steady pulsing groove gives
this track an overall infectious harmony which gets the head-bobbing and the hips-swaying.
Featured single, “Take Him to Montauk” is a metaphorical piece of taking a journey to find oneself. As the listener is
hypnotized by the rhythmic chant of the vocal melody, the track lifts the listener to a spiritual place where we can open
our minds and accept the message Montauk has to offer. “Take him to Montauk driver, take him away from all the pain,
take him to Montauk driver, there’s someone he needs to meet again.” With the recurring tribal chanting, the song
revolves around an understanding and the ability to process the message, a coming to terms with the loss and suffering
within our minds, while bringing us to enlightenment.
Highlight piece for this reviewer is “Eternal Sunshine”, a direct tribute to the film which brought this project to life.
Featuring a duet with a startling talented female vocalist, this track casts an ethereal vibe throughout as the vocals
resonate across the listening space. The underlying subtle melody carries the vocals as the highs and lows are expertly
crafted creating a dynamic piece with plenty of range. “And I can’t let go, I’m frightened of the looming darkness of the
spotless mind, I don’t want to stand beneath the eternal sunshine”. This track not only showcases the vocal talents of
these singers but the deep songwriting ability and the prowess of blending deep subject matter into an elegant package.
“Eternal Sunshine” is a track which deserves multiple listens to fully appreciate the undertones and hidden imagery.
Although reviewing all the tracks on Montauk’s debut album is not in the scope of this review, this album features many
themes, and elements of crisp, clear storytelling while maintaining a strong grasp on the underlying concept of the
project. A bold and daring project to undertake, this is a project which could very easily be dismissed as a vanity project,
however, with a careful immersion, the listener is not only pleasantly surprised by the catchy choruses and hum-along
melodies, but will quickly realize this album is an essential addition to any audiophile’s collection as the repeatability
and production offered are professional, mature and rich with musical talents. The production of this album is expertly
mixed, as all frequencies are blended together with a crispness, to distinguish all the selected instrumentation, while
remaining distortion free at high volumes. Although this debut album may not garner much commercial attention, it
will make a tasty addition to any rock/adult contemporary radio playlists. A very enjoyable album, and worth the journey into
the spotless mind.