Length: 10 tracks / 33 min, 58 sec
Release Date 01/01/2010
By SS Mertens
“Mainsail” is an effort by Joel C. Bennett to meld the sunshine and beaches of Ventura, California, indie rock, and a dash of shoegaze to create a new and updated form of surf music. To a great extent he succeeds in combining surf, beach, and ‘80s brit-rock. All songs are written and played by Bennett with the exception of drums. “Mainsail” follows his previous albums “Blue Shade Witness” and “Give Away Your Hearts”.
The album’s ten compact songs provide a touch of sun and surf. “Endless Summer”, the album’s first cut, gives the lay of the land with a heavy drum foundation and synth laden melody. “Clean Line” sets the lyrical tone for the album. “13 Miles” strikes home with a sold lyrical refrain, while other songs add to the surf story line. “Better Days” is shoegaze at its best, dream-like and possibly the best of the album. The final song “Wave Hymn” gives a solemn, hard end to the CD providing requiem for a surfer.
“Mainsail” succeeds in creating surf mood music but misses the mark on providing a meaningful message. The song list provides continuity and is just plain fun for a listen with dreamy, post-modern “Beach Boys” sound. This is a niche album, but then again, it probably wasn’t meant to be anything more than that.