Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Mates of State Our Constant Concern Polyvinyl 2002
So much cuteness, just so much love, and melody, and cuteness...and yelling. Mates of State liked to yell a lot.
I'm a sucker it, guy-girl back and forth lyrical conversations, unpredictable bursts of keyboards, and the screamed chorus'. In fact, I was just recently discussing the attributes of an Illinois band called Wolfie with a friend. Wolfie was this out of tune, chaotic, twee-pop band that employed boy-girl vocals. As much as we both liked Wolfie for the amateur charm, we agreed, if there's a group that perfected the short lived late-90's twee-pop sound, it was Mates of State.
This album proves the theory, even though I consider it on the bottom rung of the groups total output, it's still charming and worth a few spins. At the time, Mates of State was touring heavily with the likes of locals, the Anniversary. The album was constructed on the road to follow up their debut, My Solo Project. The nervous energy of a debut record is gone and the you can tell the two were trying to concentrate on being less abrasive with their chaotic bursts. That said, there's still plenty of highlights. And, their exploration into straight pop is pleasant. They'd perfect their blend of chaotic twee-pop and guitar-less radio pop on later albums, but this is a good in between.