Album Reviews

#Sassafras: Mainland

#Sassafras: Mainland

Mainland // Shiner EP
Self Released (To be released February 25th, 2014)

Unsigned band from NYC releases an EP. This is a common occurrence, certainly, one that happens every week. But in the case of Mainland, they are not a common band with a common sound. The quartet hit the road, playing shows and living out of a van and along the way they met Jim Eno. Eno, drummer and founding member of Spoon, worked with the band on the new Shiner EP which is being released by the band themselves.

With ringing chord and a deep breath, Mainland launches surfy reverb splash and thrashon the opening cut “Savant”. It’s pure energy. Youthful hooligan vocals by Jordan Topf includes lines like “I got freedom to burn up this town tonight”. It’s both bright and gritty and it will have you hitting repeat before you even check out the remaining 3 songs.

Equally strong as “Savant” but in different ways, “Shiner” staggers with thick Kelley Deal-via-Pixies bass. Joining Alex Pitta’s thumpery the band makes a gem of a tune. “Leave The Lights On” has hints of early U2 with delayed guitar and a driving beat. The all-to-brief Shiner EP wraps with the down-tempo downer “Heaven”. Painting a bleak view of New York city, and relationships, the line repeats “Somebody’s got to pay the price in the end” over and over. It’s not the cheery ending you might want in an album but it leaves intrigue as to where Mainland will go next!

Mark Nason

February 24th, 2014

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