Album Reviews: All Day by Mates of StateMates of State make a lot of beautiful noise for a duo consisting primarily of keyboards and drums. It’s the aural equivalent of a clown car. You think the last new note has left the speaker, but Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner somehow squeeze out another one.
A stunning feat, too, is this mere four-song EP, All Day, which richly rewards listeners by not wasting a moment. It starts off fun with the skipping beats of "Goods," a tune that will test your ability to sit still. The dancing drum beats and kicking keys are only part of Mates of State’s charm. The harmony vocals and interesting (though not always decipherable) lyrics go a long way in explaining the many spins this disc will get. As my wife said, "I don’t even know what the words are, but I’m already singing along." Fortunately lyrics are included, but don’t ruin the fun of trying to guess them first.
"Along for the Ride" is the other undeniable track here, with a chorus that rings out a little like The Polyphonic Spree. "Drop and Anchor" is a tender ballad reminiscent of The Beautiful South. Also included is a stellar cover of David Bowie’s "Starman." Mates of State are the big top, a cotton candy confection with a lion’s roar and trapeze artist’s flight. - Jeff Kamin
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