with Los Coast, and Hidden Cities
Mercury Lounge; New York City, NY • October 18, 2016
by May Terry
The Shreveport quartet of AJ Haynes (vocals/rhythm guitar), Connor Davis (lead guitar), Adam Davis (bass), Jesse Gabriel (drums) released their debut album earlier this year to great reviews, following equally great reviews at SXSW. In this leg of the tour, Seratones hits the Mercury Lounge as the main act of a three-band showcase sponsored by Fordham University radio station, WFUV.
Austin-based Los Coast was a solid opener thanks to the emotive vocals from lead singer, Trey Pivott. The band’s sound blend of soul, rock, and spacey electronica at times drifted away from the crowd interest, but maybe it’s because I wasn’t in the mood to hear progressive melodic tangents. However, the band comes together nicely when they stick to straight up high paced riffs and grooves on songs like “Simplify.”
Hometown band, Hidden Cities, followed Los Coast, and unlike the opener, seemed more about looks than substance. They went onstage looking like it’ll be a rocking show, only to find their set filled with a rather bland set of melodies. However, props go to their entertaining stage presence and witty banter with the audience in between songs.
Seratones took the stage at around 8:30p and opened strong with the rockabilly driven “Chocking on Your Spit,” followed by the garage-rock song, “Necromancer.” The band’s best song of the night was the charged “Kingdom Come”, which sounded so much better live than recorded, thanks to the great guitar distortion riffs from Connor Davis and strong bass and drum rhythms. Seratones is clearly a band that plays tight and well together, even if it’s apparent that Haynes is clearly at the center of their sound. Haynes’ vocal style is flexible in genre, easily pouring it on smooth and soulfully on “Don’t Need It,” and going rough-out raw on songs like “Necromancer.” Equally charming are her facial expressions, which throughout the set included cute and coy, no-nonsense grit, and soulful wistfulness.
The 10-song set with “Trees” and the highly energized Haynes mingling into the crowd to get everyone out and dancing. A rather reserved crowd more inclined to foot-tapping and head-bobbing left cheering out loud by the very last note.
Seratones will be touring through the end of this year. See this band while they play in small venues while you can. They’ll likely move up to bigger venues as their gigs continue to be paired with other strong buzz-worthy bands like St. Paul and the Broken Bones.