By Nathan Pavolko
Alright ladies and gentlemen: grab your leather jackets and shades, because this is going to be a wild ride. With swagger and passionate aggression, Seratones confidently strut out the door with their debut LP Get Gone on Fat Possum Records. It’s as if Ella Fitzgerald, instead of singing jazz, fronted a hard-hitting rock band that represents a melting pot of seductive 60’s soul and searing hot southern guitars played with garage rock velocity and grit. Somehow Seratones found a way to combine all three of these things, and it makes for a big debut.
Right out of the gates, the band starts with the relentless “Choking On Your Spit.” Its blistering guitar tones and sharp attack immediately told me this band would be great to see live. Oddly enough, Get Gone was recorded in all live takes at Dial Back Sound Studios in Mississippi, truly capturing the band’s energy in their natural element. The absolutely electric frontwoman, A.J Haynes, pulls no punches, bringing the energy to eleven on the whole album. She has such a big, soulful voice that’s both powerful and wounded, which was first honed through the choir at Brownsville Baptist Church. There is one moment that I especially love on this track where her voice quivers on a word; it gave me the chills.
In the track “Headtrip,” all of that swagger comes out in full force through snarling guitars, bending each riff in a southern rock fashion. Haynes’ voice wavers with each bend, seductively singing “I’m overdue // But you know that sometimes // Gotta love how you’re // Gettin' me off // Turnin’ me on a head trip.” While “Headtrip” shows the band’s more brash side, the slow burning song “Chandelier” is sensual and steady. Its mid-tempo break gives Haynes room to let out some of her most skillful vocals on the album. She bellows out like Janis Joplin to the up-chuck of the guitars at the beginning of the track then transitions to a soft croon, wafting through the air as the break comes in; “You // You can take your time”.
Seratones are a versatile band, merging sounds of southern rock, 60’s R&B and soul, as well as the ferocity of punk. The song “Trees,” one of my favorite tracks on the record, truly shows their thrashing punk roots. The guitars on the track sound so raw and unyielding, and there’s a short but brilliant solo halfway through that’s played in the midst of a haywire of smoldering guitars. It’s easily the shortest track on the album, but they sound like they have so much playing it, you won’t overlook it. Conversely, “Keep Me” is a soft and sweet dream, a calm unsuspecting end to the album, after experiencing such energy. However, it’s a much-welcomed and well-deserved rest after an enthusiastic album.
Seratones deliver a stunning performance on their debut LP Get Gone. It’s such a fun adrenaline fueled record with splashes of passionate soul mixed into each song. I’m surprised to say I have no gripes with this album; I was completely blown away considering it’s their first. I’m thrilled to see where this band will go next and what new soundscapes they’ll cover. Seratones’ album Get Gone will hit the shops on May 6th. If you’re in Phoenix they will be playing the Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday, April 27th.