Sounds can create images. New York City based 4 piece Mainland have this effect on "The Stroll". It concocts an image of bright strobe lights that make you even more bleary eyed in your drunken stupor, as you stomp your heels off the sticky floor in time to the drums as though your life depends on it, before the bridge kicks in and you realise you have no idea where your bag is. "I've been dancing my moves all night/And I wouldn't want to go it alone" becomes your temporary mantra as you bound around the room because this song totally GETS you. Welcome to the fun world "The Stroll" guides you in to.
"Wasted" has carefree, faintly raspy vocals as frontman Jordan Topf sings "I could pretend to be like them/Hoping for a piece of your attention" in a New York drawl Julian Casablancas would be proud of. Slow burner "Twin Cities" isn't as immediate as the other tracks on the Girls Unknown EP, and very nearly runs the risk of becoming twee when hand-clapping emerges, but concludes with some of the best call and response guitar riffs and bass drum smashing heard so far this year. "Letters" plods along with understated guitar squalls and effortlessly cool sounding vocals, and cements the feeling that it's impossible not to image Topf singing with a confident, carefree swagger as he wears perma-Ray Bans and a leather jacket.
Mainland already sound certain of themselves on Girls Unknown, and they should be. The guitars recall the sleaze of late night New York City and the buoyancy of a vodka-induced haze while the vocals sound so relaxed they could almost float away from the songs. Mainland is a decidedly vague name for a band, and Girls Unknown adds to this mystique, but it turns out it's place where we've all been - all we were missing was this soundtrack.
8.0 / 10
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