Polyvinyl - 2003 - 40 minutes

They met at college, then started going out, then formed a band, with just the two of them on keyboards and drums, and then got married. And if the story of Mates of State's Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel doesn't make you smile then the 12 they've put on this record will - lots.

A bundle of joy that needs a little patience early on, 'Team Boo' could turn the most ferocious moshpit into a love-in or, at the very least, put the slam dancing on the right side of affectionate.

Gardner and Hammel's take on pop is the experience of being the third person in a couple's conversation put to music. Over his sweet thuds and her giddy keys, they sing to each other and then make you feel guilty for stumbling on a line like "when I look at you I can't behave".

If ever a band should stay so small that you can call them friends but deserve to be so big that everyone can know them, it's Mates of State. Funny and touching, a sound all their own and a record filled with such happiness that it probably glows in the dark. Proper Boo.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Ha Ha - Whiner's Bio - Fluke - Open Book - Middle is Gold -The Kissaway - Gotta Get a Problem - Parachutes (Funeral Song) - An Experiment - Sound if Off - I Got This Feelin' - Separate the People