Mates of State (January Residency)


Mates of State (January Residency)

Fond Han, Bilge Rat

Wed, January 18, 2017

Doors: 9:00 pm / Show: 9:30 pm


New Haven, CT

This event is 21 and over

Mates of State
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.
Fond Han
Fond Han, the "Original Rinkers of Donktown," are getting ready to release "Sham Cloud," their full length debut on Exploding In Sound Records. They're a wild card and luckily... it's time to get wild. Drawing influence from Daughters and Converge to Modest Mouse and Dischord Records, Fond Han are unpredictable by nature. The band's Bandcamp tags include "arboreal yazz" and "shark doom" among others, a glimpse into the mindset of Fond Han and the strange new world the new New Jersey duo have created with their post-hardcore indebted indie punk. It's a squiggling, convulsive, freakshow of entertainment and impeccable musicianship that's captivating from start to finish. You never know what lurks around the corner as "Sham Cloud" unfolds with a diverse range of songs and wondrous creativity.

Back in 2014, Fond Han released their debut EP, a split cassette with Mattress Financial (Two Inch Astronaut's Sam Rosenberg), but a lot has changed for Thomas Baumann's project in the years since. Originally a lo-fi solo endeavor, Fond Han quickly expanded into a band as Baumann was joined by Kira McDonald and a revolving cast of musicians. Still raw and weird, the band's sound has been fleshed out and fully realized.

"Sham Cloud" offers a look into one of the most vibrant art punk bands within New Jersey's ever strong DIY scene. The album, comprised of eight tracks in just under twenty minutes, mixes the band's love of bummed out indie rock, mathy punk, and spastic prog metal instrumentals for something both genuinely beautiful and unflinchingly chaotic. Full of jagged rhythms and twisted riffs, Fond Han have created an intelligent and energetic record with enough tongue-in-cheek charm to keep things light.

Baumann and McDonald wrote and performed the record with guest appearances from Steve Hartlett (Stove/Ovlov), Devin McKnight (Speedy Ortiz/Grass Is Green), Vinnie Daidone, and Zachary Miller, and it's safe to say the album is nothing if not unpredictable. Eager to explore the boundaries of post-hardcore, punk, indie, and art rock with an absurdist mentality, this one is sure to catch a few folks off guard.

It's been a long time coming but EIS is very proud to be releasing this record together with Fond Han.
Bilge Rat
Bilge Rat is a trio out of New Haven, CT, who just released their first self-titled LP March 10th. The new album comes after the release of their debut EP Townie Garbage in January 2016.

Bilge Rat deal in a kind of chamber grunge, tangling themselves up in elegantly conflicted moments of dissonance and coaxing some grace out of the pile of discord. The band combines dense guitar work with jazz-informed drums and frontman Michael Kusek's cutting nasal croon. After jamming together in a church attic, Kusek and guitarist Quinn Pirie formed the band in the summer of 2015. Coming from folk and jazz backgrounds, they have slowly evolved their sound into something singular. Bilge Rat's live shows border on improvisational, testing song structures and concepts and highlighting the band's jazz roots. The new LP draws a similar sound to In Utero-era Nirvana, Modest Mouse's Lonesome Crowded West or Slint's Spiderland, with Kusek's vocals at times evoking Irish singer-songwriter Fionn Regan. A piercing yell occasionally slashes through the crooning, haunting in both lyric and melody.
Venue Information:
254 Crown Street
New Haven, CT, 06511