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Mates of State

Two of Us (DVD)
Polyvinyl

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Even after screening the entirety of Two of Us, which bills itself as a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of indie-pop band Mates of State, it isn't clear at all what director Thadd Day had in mind when he first broke ground on his project. The answer, probably, is very little at all. Two of Us is a documentary in the most literal sense of the word, and much like other recent indie band films, such as Dirty Old Town, which followed Ted Leo while on tour, Two of Us has no plot, no storyline, no arc, no character development -- in short, no point. This may have had something to do with the fact that Day was overworked and wearing creative blinders -- he was also the film's producer, editor and cameraman. Hearing Mates of State play their best songs live is a bonus for fans, of course, but Two of Us, overall, is a lazily constructed rush job.

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