Friday, October 22, 2004

Mates of State looms before me...

Nearly 2 years ago I went with some friends to see the Pernice Brothers at the Bottom of the Hill here in San Francisco. Opening for them was a band that I had heard of but hadn't heard, they were called Mates of State. The band consisted of a guy on drums and vocals and a chick on keyboards and vocals. That was it. I expected them to be either brother and sister or married, since that was the "thing" at the time. Hey guess what, they're married. Well, the Pernice Brothers were absolutely great that night and Joe Pernice was very cool hanging out in the crowd drinking beers while Mates of State played. I thought that Mates of State kinda sucked. I was truly unimpressed, but blown away by this overwhelming adulation that the band got from the crowd. After the show as I tried to make my way towards the merchandise stand to get a Pernice Brothers T-shirt I overheard a conversation by 2 young ladies who said in very breathy tones, "aren't they just the greatest?" "Yeah, they are so amazing. I worship them." They weren't talking about the Pernice Brothers. My friend John, who is a big fan of Mates, thought that the nights show was pretty average. They just seemed like a band with an interesting gimmick that really needed to fleshed out with a another member or two. Somebody burned their allbum for me, I listened to it once or twice and continued to be unimpressed. I'll be the first to admit that I should have given the album more of a chance. But I didn't. And while I was aware that there was a good Mates of State following, loyal and passionate, they just fell off my radar. Until now. During one of my usual rounds of compulsive internet browsing I was checking out the Polyvinyl Records site (the new record by Aloha looks pretty good) and came across a tune off the forthcoming Mates of State record All Day, which is set for an Oct. 28 release. It kind of sucker punched me. The song is really good. I mean really good. It starts with a little keyboard run before exploding into this field of upbeat pop harmonies. I may have to rethink this whole Mates of State thing. You can preorder the record on the Polyvinyle Records website.



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