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Re-arrange Us

Mates of State

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Album Review

Giving a record a title like Re-Arrange Us might imply some kind of shift in sound or approach but on Mates of State album of that title, there is nothing of the sort taking place. In fact, the album continues along the path the band has plotted out over their last couple releases with more piano and less organ, a glossy, slick feel that's radio ready and super-hooky tunes that are both sing-along friendly and emotionally powerful. "Get Better" sets the tone of the album right away with a sunshine-y melody, smooth production and sentiments like, "Forget all your politics for awhile/Let the color schemes arrive." It's a near perfect summer jam, almost too perfect as the rest of the album never quite recaptures the glorious feeling the song provides. Some come close though. "Help Help," with its '80s synths and fuzzed organ; "My Only Offer," with a majestic piano part and beautiful vocals from Kori Gardner; and the positively exuberant "Jigsaw" are the kind of songs indie rock bands would kill for. Gardner and Jason Hammel are becoming adept at creating big, shiny records with a real-life heart beating beneath. Indeed behind the pretty melodies and sing-along choruses are some tough sentiments with talk of losing fights and cold sweat on "You Are Free," long lost love on "Blue and Gold Print," and desperate battles on "The Re-Arranger." It's a fully realized album that will appeal to indie fans that like some sugar with their sadness, some sour with their sweetness. Most of all it will go down like honey for Mates of State fans who have been following the band's progression from an edgy lo-fi duo to the indie rock hit making machine they have so gracefully become.

Customer Reviews

more hooks than Bass Pro Shop

I love a lot of different types of music. freaky dub reggae, blues, punk, rockabilly,classic country, retro soul, whatever fits my mood. But there's one band that can always change my mood and that's Mates of State. I'm a huge fan of poppy, hook filled songs and this record is packed with them. This is supposedly their "different" sound because it has more piano than organ but whatever--it's still got this really rich almost baroque pop sound and sparkling harmonies. Dig it.

Mates of State such a great band!!

Absolutely love the power connect sounds, the vinyl feel an amazing album! Lullaby Haze is one of my favorite songs out of this album and jig saw puzzle.

Biography

Formed: 1997 in Lawrence, KS

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Kori Gardner (keyboard/vocals) and Jason Hammel (drums/vocals) were both playing guitar and singing in the Kansas music metropolis of Lawrence before forming the Mates of State in 1997. With their dual vocal harmonies and minimalist pop appeal, Omnibus Records released Mates of State's first EP as a split with Fighter D in 1999. Upon a relocation to San Francisco, the duo's second EP, It's the Law/Invitation Inn, and a debut studio effort, My Solo Project, followed in 2000. Tours of the Midwest followed...
Full Bio