CD Review Revue
(Polyvinyl Record Co.)
As spring slowly makes its way through the frigid air, the winter's dreary soundtrack is growing stale. It's time to switch the channel to something upbeat, something as bright as the midday sunshine. The band that's the clearest epitome of a glowing pop explosion is, of course, Mates of State. Everything about the husband and wife duo is adorable, a fact supported once again by their latest four-song EP All Day.
The album's opening track, "Goods (All in Your Head)" starts with a simple snappy synth riff and plenty of "da da das" leading the way into the brightest sonic blast recorded here, complete with excited "whoa ohs!" and staccato chimes. With all that energy, "Goods" is the best song on the EP--and quite possibly the best Mates of State song written to date. It's followed by two more originals, "Along for the Ride," and "Drop and Anchor," as well as a cover of David Bowie's "Starman." While "Goods" is steady in first place, "Drop and Anchor" is a charming, unassuming piano ballad that will hold onto your heart if only because of the huggable, harmonized lyric "And I could be an anchor/Drop me in the bay and watch me hold you steady." MEGAN SELING
Mates of State play Sat Feb 26, Chop Suey, early show, 6 pm, $10 adv.
Broken hearts--without 'em, what would much of indie rock display as its subject of choice? Faust? Lord of the Rings? Auto repair? North Carolina's the Comas wear their bludgeoned heart on their sleeve--or rather, frontman Andy Herod sports the bleeding corazón corsage. The band's fall 2004 release, Conductor, led to more ink about Herod's breakup with a certain Dawson's Creek star than their relationship ever produced. Even better than trash-talking tabloids, though, the split produced this sprawling offspring of an album dedicated to issues of faith bruised like a fallen prizefighter and lovers doubling as holograms. But just as most crestfallen souls need some extra layers of padding between themselves and those exposed nerve endings, lines like in "Oh God"--"Oh, God, that was living/oh God, I wanna die… oh God, where is the feeling/oh God, where is my mind?"--are swaddled in starry-eyed pop rather than razor blade-shade blues. This is the comedown album after you've fallen in love on Spiritualized and the Starlight Mints' time but aren't ready to float back down to reality--fuzzy pop sparking with electricity and guitars that drone like air-raid sirens buffered in cotton candy. Of course, some songs are more precious than others, but even delicate tunes like "Falling" balance outpourings of earnest emotion with swooning melodies made to sound like as much of a salve for hammered hearts as they are general escape pods to galaxies of blissful pop. JENNIFER MAERZ
The Comas perform Thurs Feb 24, Crocodile, 9 pm, $8.
*** Deep Throat
*** Deep Pockets
** Deep Freeze
* Deep Shit