Manic Productions Presents
Mates of State
PAWS, Modern Merchant
295 Treadwell Street
Hamden, CT, 06514
This event is 21 and over
Mates of State
How does a band keep evolving and moving forward after 15 years? First up, embrace the modern age and the way that people are consuming music these days. "I don't like it, but the long play album format is probably dead," says Mates of State singer/drummer Jason Hammel. "Now we just want the hits. Don't bother me with filler; get me your best songs straightaway."
Rather than lamenting this shift in listening preferences, Hammel and his bandmate Kori Gardner are taking a very KISS-like approach with their new music: you wanted the best, you got the best.
The pair's new self-produced EP 'You're Going To Make It,' then, is nothing but choice cuts; five anthemic and emotionally-rich songs that will quickly take up residence in your mental jukebox; five anthemic songs that wriggle into your every waking hour like the earworms they are.
This new batch of tunes is Mates of State in its purest form. The razor sharp harmonies, shimmering new wave synth melodies, an internal warmth that can only come from a couple that has been musically and romantically involved for nearly two decades, and lyrics that speak to both personal and universal concerns.
On "Beautiful Kids," the band speaks to how, even though we are connected to one another 24/7 thanks to modern technology, a sense of loneliness still pervades. Or as Hammel puts it: "We all just want to be seen, but we won't look up from our screens so that we can be seen." "Gonna Get It" and "I Want To Run" build off the same inspiring notion of the EP's title, encouraging both themselves and their fans to keep striving no matter what the odds. And fist-pumping opener "Staring Contest" connects us to that delicious ache of schoolyard crushes and youthful love.
It's not just the manner in which Mates of State is planning to release music from here on out that is evolving, but also how the band will be presenting them on their upcoming tours of U.S. and Europe. "We're focusing more on performance as a whole and not being stuck behind our instruments," says Hammel. "We're coming to the front of the stage for some songs. Kori plays drums, Jason does some keys. Mixing up the performances in new and exciting ways."
The band is also exploring some new creative avenues this year with the release of 'The Rumperbutts,' a feature film that Hammel and Gardner acted in and composed the score for. Written and directed by Marc Brener, the film will hit theaters on May 22nd.
After a decade and an half of acclaimed albums and live performances, and songs that have become near pop standards for a generation of music fans, it's good to know that Mates of State isn't content with coasting. Hammel and Gardner are working as hard as ever and looking excitedly toward what the future has to offer.
2012 has been a very important year for PAWS.
It's seen the band sign with Brooklyn/Brighton based label FatCat Records and tour the UK and Europe extensively. Their first release on the label in May, the self recorded/produced "Misled Youth EP" was supported by a run of UK shows opening for L.A's Bleached (ex Mika Miko sisters Jen and Jess Clavin). Key shows at Brighton's Great Escape Festival, Beacons Festival and appearances at Vice Issue Launch parties in London and Brighton were met with great success to audiences welcoming PAWS with open arms.
At the beginning of the year the boys recorded their debut L.P "Cokefloat!" at the Lightship95 Studio in London with Rory Attwell (ex-Test Icicles) and was released worldwide in October 2012. Singles from the album have enjoyed lots of support from influential UK radio dj's, receiving plentiful airplay by BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe, a session on BBC 6 Music's Lauren Laverne, as well as ‘Sore Tummy’ being play-listed on BBC6. Into Autumn and the Canadian punk duo Japandroids invited PAWS to join them on their European tour and shortly after that, their UK tour. The tour saw PAWS play to their biggest audiences to date, including a sold out show at London's Heaven Nightclub. After the release of the album the band celebrated by heading straight back out on their first headline UK tour. Rammed out shows at Glasgow's CCA and East London's Shacklewell arms were important highlights for the trio.
In the later half of 2012, "Cokefloat!" has received support from music media worldwide including features from people like SPIN Magazine, MTV, KEXP Radio, Brooklyn Vegan and Pitchfork. PAWS' music has even appeared on more than one occasion on the cult West London based television series, "Made In Chelsea". The band are now preparing for their first visit to the U.S in Early 2013 after another headline UK tour in late February. Plans for a limited edition 7" release including two brand new home recorded tracks and a cover version are in the works to celebrate their first visit to The United States.
PAWS go into 2013 bright eyed and busy tailed ready to take on new challenges and bring their music to new places that they haven't had a chance to yet.
Party on Wayne. Party on Garth.
Modern Merchant is a four piece psychedelic dream-rock band, half based out of New Haven, CT and half Brooklyn, NY. The haunting melodies, layered harmonies and swift dynamic shifts will leave you a bit dazed and glassy-eyed.
Their three song EP "arrival by sea" features drummer Sydney Weiss and guitarist John Parson. The full band now includes instrumentalist Jesse Stanford (Heirlooms) and bassist Mike Skaggs (Sidewalk Dave).