This album makes me shake my ass.
Mates Of State's third disc [and second on Polyvinyl], Team Boo, is their strongest yet. The songs contain more surprises in tempo and style than ever before, Kori and Jason's vocals are as sweet as can be, and the words are more poignant than anything else the duo's written.
But before I jump too far into the review, here's a crash course on Mates Of State - MOS 101, if you will. Boy [Jason] meets girl [Kori]. Boy plays drums, girl plays organ. Boy and girl form band together while falling in love. Boy and girl get married, and continue to write love songs about each other. It's the sweetest thing in the world, honestly.
Okay, history lesson's over. Now it's time for me to profess my love to this disc. From the second "Ha Ha" kicks into high gear to the mellow organ drone of "Separate The People," Team Boo takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, letting you take a peek into a married couple's psyche. But unlike the pair's last album Our Constant Concern, this album seems to have a much more upbeat feel to it. "Sound It Off" is a total rocker [as much as one can be with organ and drums]. "Parachutes" is a gorgeous piano ballad, with suburb use of handclaps. "Whiner's Bio" is a sort of "Uber-Legitimate" part two, with liberal use of trumpet to bolster the song's sticky sweet melody.
Quite possibly the best thing this band has going for them is their wonderful vocal harmonies. They're always a third apart from each other, and they're always as predictable as hell, but in a good way - you can sing along with the harmony the first time you listen to the song just because you know it's coming.
From the visual perspective, the album's artwork and packaging is beautiful. The colors are perfect for it's autumn release, and the inclusion of one of those fortune teller/"cootie catcher" things you used to make when you were a kid puts this CD over the top on the adorable scale.
A lot of big albums come out today. Many of you will go buy the new Saves The Day, MxPx, or Thursday discs today after you get off work. You might be pleased with what you get for your 12 bucks, or you might be let down by one of your favorite bands. But if you take a chance on this little drums-and-organ duo from California, I guarantee you that you will fall in love with this disc just as I have. This is by far the most diverse, most unique, and all-around best album to come out today. Don't sleep on it.
Stream four songs here