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TILT Music Blog – Mates Of State

It’s funny how you discover a group sometimes.  Somebody puts an album on your face and if you are not ready, you are not ready.  This happened to me with this group about a year ago now.  A friend told me about this incredible group I just had to listened to called Mates of State.  I told him “yea yea, I’ll get to it.” since I was listening to so much new music at that moment, the thought of another band was just too much.

So fast forward to a year later, when I was eager to find something new to listen to, and I come across this group.  The name sounded familiar, so I listened.  I have to say that it only took one listen of their songs on myspace to be completely enamored by their sound.  So the next thing I did was look for their latest work and listen to the songs.  What Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel, an electro-rock duo that also happens to be married, it’s pure melodic bliss.  Each song is one great hook, and their harmonies are so well prepared that it’s just astounding they are not sounding on every radio station of the country.  Then again I tend to forget people like to listen to crap most of the time, so this might be a little above their heads.

The group established in Kansas a few years back and now they’ve relocated to San Francisco since as they say on their own blog “it’s better there“.  During their career they have released five albums and two ep’s, the latest work being “Re-Arrange Us” released in 2008. 

Among the best songs in the Mates of State Myspace page, the first track “Get Better” from this latest album is, if you need a comparison, reminscent to the beatifullness productions of Death Cab For Cutie.  The voices are clear and the music creates the perfect mix of eighties influence with modern sounds.  The song “For The Actor” from the album “Bring It Back” is lead more by a distorted guitar while the vocal harmonies remain what it has been…their trademark.  “Goods All In Your Head” is a song from their “All Day EP” which you can tell the quality of the recording is not the same as this last work, but the song is catchy, it’s smart and it’s all a real POP song should be.  I tell you this group is a hooks machine.  They should start reselling them because there are a lot of needed out there.

I won’t go into details of the album here since I’m planning on reviewing it later on.  That being said, if you get the opportunity to listen to some of the other songs like “Re-arrange us” please do.  You won’t regret it.

The group is also involved in ideological themes, having participated in a photoshoot for PETA and their anti fur campaing.  They also have a very interesting quote that even though I have heard before on every art class I’ve taken, every group should apply to themselves to try and get rid of this status-quo of repetition… “The function of art is to provoke. Love or Hate.”



Video for the song “Get Better” from the album “Re-Arrange Us“.

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