Seratones (photo by Dylan Glasgow, PR)
New West Records
It’s been three years since Shreveport's Seratones released their first album, Get Gone, a gritty debut that was rich with soul and garage rock. The Louisiana group's second album, Power, marks a notable change and finds them primed to start a new chapter after a particularly turbulent period. “We went through a pretty dramatic shift with this record," explains singer and guitarist AJ Haynes in the group's website bio. "The band lineup, the creative process, the sound: all of it changed in ways that really reflected our growth and evolution.”
Seratones' original lineup featured Haynes, guitarist Connor Davis, bassist Adam Davis and drummer Jesse Gabriel. In moving on from Get Gone, Haynes, and most of the other members of the band, wanted to avoid simply repeating the formula that paved the way to that debut. But a desire for change led to internal disharmony and the eventual departure of Davis.
Travis Stewart took Davis's place, and Seratones also added a fifth member, keyboardist Tyran Coker. With fresh ideas, the group strived to develop a more focused live performance, a decision that, according to Haynes, was inspired by the band’s time touring with the late Charles Bradley.
Energized and confident, Seratones headed to Nashville, teaming up with producer Brad Shultz from Cage the Elephant. Power reflects Haynes and her bandmates' desire to stir the musical pot, utilizing their understanding of the many nuances of soul, funk, and early rock and roll.
Lyrically on Power, Haynes is often looking inward, exploring her experiences, both personal and those that are front and center in today’s sociopolitical climate. On "Fear," a Sixties-style girl-group stomper, she sings, “Fear is the weight of the world coming down." She boldly stands up to an untrustworthy lover in “Lie To My Face,” another nod to early rock and roll. “Sad Boi” is a symbolic slap as Haynes muses, “Think I wanna sadboi, to keep me company.”
“Heart Attack” and the title track are both adrenaline-fueled rockers and "Gotta Get To Know Ya," thick with pounding drums, funky bass and keyboards, is an empowering statement, meant for the dance floor.
With Power, Seratones have risen above band politics and obstacles with a confident, assured and adventurous second album.
Listen to a brand new FUV Live session with Seratones on Monday, August 26, at 1 p.m., EDT, on 90.7 WFUV, also streaming online.