Seratones: Get Gone

Photo: Chad Kamenshine

Seratones are explosive when they seamlessly blend genres and switch their emotions to roll with the punches. They might have the power to stay and conquer.


Get Gone

Label: Fat Possum
US Release Date: 2016-05-06
UK Release Date: 2016-05-06

Seratones are a spark in a powder keg, constantly blowing up with the energy of sheer rock and snarling punk. Though their sound is inoffensive, the Louisiana group has one promising goal in mind: rock the back of a venue as hard as its impacts the front. Whether their raucous performance resembles the insanity of a Southern bar brawl or whether their slow tunes successfully mimic a ballroom blues ensemble, Seratones show a talent that isn't show-offish or overcompensating through their debut album, Get Gone.

Vocalist A.J. Haynes might exude her sharp vocals and dress them with decorations, but the culmination of the band's efforts create something fast and unstoppable. Florence Welch might be able to take on the gospel that Haynes can utter, yet the former wouldn't be able to hold a candle to the latter's charismatic charm. Much like the big, bad wolf, she can huff and blow houses down with only her presence. Paired with Connor Davis' pumped up guitar solos and Jesse Gabriel's intense drumming, said house would combust. Even the few moments in which Adam Davis' bass crashes the threshold of interest will have listeners bobbing their heads until they become concussed after slamming into inanimate objects.

What's endearing about Seratones is their ability to blend multiple genres seamlessly without losing the direction of what they want to sound like. The band doesn't have to wonder what its sound is. They don't drastically switch from old school rock and roll (a la the Ramones) into the nagging punk of a group like Fidlar. Instead of switching tones, they blend the richness of genres. Haynes crafts her gospel roots and makes them intimate with Southern rock, while also leaning into blues and soul through her vocals. So, too, do the strings initiate riffs that are punk, classic rock, and melodic pop. Seratones have the attitude of Patti Smith when she sings of God not dying for her sins -- and it's beautiful.

Through this attitude comes a vocal range that is never bored and that never fakes its energy. Seratones take into consideration laxer rhythms in a way that builds up whatever is on the other side of a riff. In "Headtrip", these smoother roads lead to bitter and punk-filled sidelines, whereas "Tide" unsettles listeners when it changes its dreamy vibe into something more devastating. The more intimate the venue, the better it is for the group to charge up. A garage-like sound is what heightens Connor's guitar into the zenith of the Strokes, making the relatively plain "Chandelier" have its high point. Cumulatively, Get Gone rarely feels stiff in its structure, with songs prior to the last few tracks feeling more dynamic than not.

Even when tracks like "Take It Easy" or "Keep Me" are more static in nature, they still allow the band to create an atmosphere, an ability Seratones don't take for granted. These couple songs keep recreating the lively south that the band feels familiar with, doing so in a way that allows its audience to live along Louisiana streets. It does so in implementations of country and town girl blues ("Keep Me"). When Haynes says, "Leave your body behind, babe", she puts in elements of soul ("Don't Need To"). Likewise, the tough-as-nails impression left on "Choke on Your Spit" doesn't leave its listeners when the rhythm shifts to a near halt. If anything, it expresses that emotions are what shift, not genres.

Get Gone might not show its strengths in its lyricism, but it makes up for that by being a talented culmination of energy. Seratones are multi-faceted and sonically strong, but they need to show their capability of being a band with staying power. While their sound can pierce stadiums, the optimal venue for the group is a mid-sized place where Haynes can easily tear the roof down. Of course, when the whole band comes together, no one can know the outcome. All one can know is that everyone will be rocking, and that, so far, is all that matters.

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