Mainland – “Shiner EP”
“Mainland holds a rhythm in each track alongside a beachy daze of guitar work and demanding vocals that makes for a wonderfully refreshing mix that begs for multiple spins. ” – EVEverett Verner
out of 10
February 25th, 2014
New York rockers Mainland’s debut, Shiner EP, starts the opening track ,”Savant”, with a guitar riff reminiscent to The Pixies’ “Cecilia Ann”, the opener from their 1990’s Bossanova album. It’s noticeably different, but a worthwhile nod if intended.
While Mainland harbors a sound that echoes the protopunk rockers of the late 70s and 80s, it’s less gritty and lighter. “Savant” is a particularly good start to the 4 track EP as it sets a fun pace for an album full of rebellious sounding garage rock. Infectious rhythm and beats push the song alongside Jordan Topf’s lyrics, espousing a freedom and direction that has him impatient and optimistic as he cries “don’t leave me waiting too long, you are my way.” The title track, “Shiner”, follows in suit by moving from enigmatic guitar riffs into some serious bass work that pushes their sound into what sounds even more like the Pixies with more harmonic vocals. The remaining tracks on the EP both complement the front half and dig a deeper well for them to pool their collective talent. It’s still beach grooves laid over garage rock, but they explore this sound exceptionally well through “Leave the Lights On”, and then slow it down for the EP’s final track, “Heaven”.
Throughout the EP is a sense of cohesion between each track and is a testament to Mainland allowing each member to shine through their own instrumental outlet. I am drawn to the parallels of the Pixies and the protopunk rockers, but overall it paints a pop sound that reminds me of Phantom Planet, the short-lived Detroit rockers Moods for Moderns, or even Toronto’s Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. Mainland holds a rhythm in each track alongside a beachy daze of guitar work and demanding vocals that makes for a wonderfully refreshing mix that begs for multiple spins.
– February 19th, 2014 – Everett Verner