Kori Gardner (keyboard/vocals) and Jason Hammel (drums/vocals) were both playing guitar and singing in the Kansas music metropolis of Lawrence before forming the Mates of State in 1997. With their dual vocal harmonies and minimal pop appeal, Omnibus Records released Mates of State's first EP as a split with Fighter D in 1999. Upon a relocation to San Francisco, the duo's second EP, It's the Law/Invitation Inn, and a debut studio effort, My Solo Project, followed in 2000.
Tours of the Midwest followed into the next year and creative ideas continued to swirl. Hammel and Gardner, who were married in early 2001, inked themselves a deal with Polyvinyl prior to recording a follow-up. Summer days were spent playing shows with Superdrag, the Anniversary, and Beulah while writing songs on the road. Those sessions lead to the second album, Our Constant Concern, in 2002. The next spring Polyvinyl reissued their debut album, My Solo Project, and later on the full-length Team Boo. After their contract was up with Polyvinyl (ending with the 2004 EP All Day), Mates of State decided to head over to Barsuk, the label that released Bring It Back in 2006 and Re-Arrange Us in 2008.
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