Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner, the dynamic marital drum and
electric-organ duet known to us as Mates of State, is back, marking
their triumphant return with Team Boo, the band's third
full-length. Spending last spring deep in the studio trenches, with
help from John Croslin and Jim Eno, the mates have again combined
lovingly conflicting voices and jabbing instrumentals with tight
production and superb sound, helping to eliminate some of the
irritating distortion of Our Constant Concern without compromising their trademark sound and melodies.
Heavily laden with harmony as well as lyrical battling, "An
Experiment" and the enjoyably rushed "I Got This Feelin' " stand out as
the Team Boo's best tracks. "Parachutes (Funeral Song)," a song
about (you guessed it) death, though a bit trite and expected, managed
to become one of my favorites. It's not often I admit to liking a song
with lyrics like "I'd say I'm better 'cause I lived before I died."
Besides having an atrocious title, this record is remarkably
enjoyable, but by no means a large step away from the formula that has
worked in the past. San Francisco's Mates of State has done it again,
creating an infectious, poppy record that will likely drive even the
most stubborn onto the dance floor.
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