“Savant,” the opening track on Mainland’s new Shiner EP, grabs the listener by both hands and then takes off running. The high-speed guitars and brash vocals call to mind the original punk era of the late 1970s. It’s a coming of age song, delivered from a New York-based quartet that doesn’t look all that old.
Lead vocalist-guitarist Jordan Topf’s voice is perfectly suited for this approach, evoking Supergrass on the title track, which offers another take on growing up. “When I was younger, I would do all the things you like,” Topf notes. “Now I’m older and this feeling isn’t right.” Bassist Alex Pitta provides a strong but playful rhythm, whereas on other songs, he keeps pace with the energetic strumming of Topf and guitarist Corey Mullee.
“Heaven” has a slower, more classic rock feel, as Topf, Pitta, Mullee, and drummer Dylan Longstreet combine for a well-crafted arrangement. “Leave The Lights On” could be the song that garners the most attention for Mainland. With its shimmering guitars, rampaging rhythm section, and Topf’s evocative singing, it would have fit in perfectly on U2’s Boy album.