Mountaintops, the latest album from indie-pop marrieds Mates of State, is bright, grabby, and big-sounding, enough so that its pull-out-all-the-stops opener, "Palomino," is now being used to sell Whoppers. (The burger, that is, not the candy, though the group is closer in spirit to the latter, and to Thompson Twins and '80s Fleetwood Mac.) Drummer Jason Hammel and keyboardist Kori Gardner play with talent-show intensity, and if their lyrics are hit and miss, their mostly aerobic songs are otherwise very cleverly constructed, full of flowing but truly distinct verses, choruses, bridges, and codas—again and again a new section transforms more than merely changes the song. The mood is usually summery but not Pollyannaish, sometimes introspective but never defeated; it's perfect music for kitchen dancing after a bad day, but it's worth leaving the house for, too. 18+.
Fri., Nov. 18, 8 p.m., 2011