While making my newest mixtape for my friends I thought long and hard about what track to include from the new cover album put out by married duo Mates of State. My mix tape rules don’t allow for me to include multiple tracks from the same artist so I had to pick just one. Would it be their cover of Girls’ “Laura” (now with 1980’s DJ scratching!)…or maybe their altogether different take on the Mars Volta’s “Son Et Lumiere?” I was torn. My confusion would become more exasperated as I went further down the track listing. I <3 Belle and Sebastian something hard so “Sleep the Clock Around” would seem like an obvious choice…but I’ve really been enjoying all the Fleetwood Mac covers that have been popping up around the Internet, so maybe I should have gone with “Second Hand News.” Fuck. Yep these are the serious decisions I wrestle with. I decided to not include any Mates of State on the mix and instead I purchased The RAC’s first piece of original music (from the movie Holy Rollers) to fill the gap.
The Mates of State’s Crush Covers “mix tape” deserved its own…errr….mixtape. You guys deserve it too. I’m a sucker for cover albums and the choices made here are inspired. Besides the aforementioned tracks there are homages to Daniel Johnston, Nick Cave, and Tom Waits. Brave and dangerous selections. Music snobs do not like when you fuck with Tom Waits and Nick Cave. I’ve read reviews of people crapping on the album and questioning the intentions of the MOS. These bloggers, if they really needed answers, could have simply paid a visit to the Mates of State Myspace blog which states:
“There are are so many artists we considered, some for the mere fact that they wrote a perfect song, some for nostalgia’s sake, some because more people need to hear them, some for the challenge, and some to shed a whole different light on a song: Our light… make it a duet, more optimistic or maybe less traditional”
There you have it. They’re fans first and foremost While this album will never be confused with Beck’s Record Club I for one respect their versions and don’t agree with all the bashing that this album has received…but like I said, I’m a sucker for covers. Sure some of their arrangements are a bit canned and they kind of give off a hipster Culps kind of vibe…but who cares! I’d send you William Hung singing Phoenix’s
“Lisztomania” if it existed. I’m glad we live in a world where it doesn’t.
Highlights: “Sleep the Clock Around,” “Second Hand News,” “True Love Will Find You in the End,” “Laura”
Go crush on The Mates of State live this summer when they come to The Echo for two shows on July 2nd and 3rd.