Few indie bands have a history as long as Mates of State. Since 1997, the duo composed of Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have been churning out album after album. Notorious for their unique style, that utilizes tons of vocal harmony, Mates of State have gained quite the fan base that have helped the dynamic duo maintain their longevity. Nearly two decades after their start, Kori and Jason are still making music and most recently, their EP titled You’re Going To Make It.
You’re Going To Make It starts real strong and gets old real quick. The EP contains five tracks and starts with two fairly catchy, pretty decent songs. “Staring Contest,” carries a simple enough synth line and adds in a vocal track that you may catch yourself singing along to. The song itself isn’t ground breaking but it’s just fun to listen to. Immediately following is “Beautiful Kids,” which sounds very much like social commentary –making note of all the image-centric tendencies of the video-electric modern world. From here on, the rest of the EP is like Disney –kind of noisy, cheerful in a plastic way, and almost unnecessary. Although this isn’t atypical for Mates of State, it just seems overdone.
The polarizing moment starts the moment the third track begins. The melodies, both of the pianos and vocals, are just boring. The song sounds almost picturesque. There’s nothing wrong with being chipper, most people like upbeat music –but Mates of State just takes it too far.
In general, I’m hesitant to call Mates of State latest EP bad. There’s nothing too horrible about it, the album just doesn’t appeal to me. Really it’s hard to see how the album would appeal to anyone into the whole indie scene. Taking a step back however, it’s important to remember Mates of State aren’t setting out for mass appeal. Kori and Jason built their musical style around what they like to play, and what they’re good at. While this EP isn’t per say an amazing addition to the indie world, it’s certainly a very fine addition to the Mates of State library.
It may all be a matter of taste, but You’re Going To Make It certainly isn’t for everyone. Truthfully, this EP may not make any new fans either. Overall, Mates of State are really catering to a specific niche. If vocal-centric music with high amounts of energy and Disney-Soundtrack like tunes are your thing –feel free to indulge.