Mates Of State: Kori Gardner (vocals, organ); Jason Hammel (vocals, drums).
On their fourth full-length, BRING IT BACK, husband-and-wife duo Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel continue the trend begun on their previous album, TEAM BOO, and push their glimmering synth-pop giddiness in a richer, more complex direction. Hammel's tasty drumming leads the way through the duo's increasingly sophisticated song structures, and Gardner's layered organ playing shows greater variety than before. The key elements that make Mates of State's music so infectious, however, still occupy the center ring: Gardner and Hammel playfully trading vocals back and forth, the sing-along melodies as catchy as TV theme songs, and the kind of gleeful energy usually found only on high school pep squads.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[They] operate like a bizarro White Stripes, working up sweetly aching harmonies on lean indie-pop tunes and fuzzy ballads."
Uncut (p.117) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[B]eneath the cheery chug and carnival-like fizz beats a sombre heart."