New West Records
When Seratones, the quartet from Shreveport, Louisiana, released their debut album, Get Gone in 2016, I was floored by the tightly power-packed punch of their music, led by front-woman singer and guitarist, A.J. Haynes. So naturally, it’s with great anticipation that I waited for the sophomore album to go along for their next musical ride. That next ride – Power – while enjoyable overall, seems to have taken a number of twists and turns to a couple of visits into pop music that I hoped we could have skipped.
While Get Gone artfully blended multiple styles of soul, gospel, and funk with edgy guitar distortions and tinges of classic rock with some post-punk, Power feels a little disjointed and too production-polished in their move to mainstream pop. The ’80s Asian-pop-rock sound of “Heart Attack” seems a bit too forced of an exploration in the land of Shonen Knife. The title track, “Power” is retro-reminiscent of a ’60s spy-thriller soundtrack and “Permission” which hearkens of a ’70s slow-Motown groovy shuffle. “Fear” with its reverb-laden vocal tracks conveys the nostalgia of a ’50s chanteuse song with a hint of modernism and the last track on the album, “Crossfire” ends strong with the better blend.
But it’s in the breakout vocals in songs like “Lie To My Face and “Permission” that A.J. Hayes shines brilliantly showing her vocal artistry in dynamic and emotional range. And “Gotta Get To Know Ya,” one of the best songs on the album, brings out the most outstanding and rather young talent this incredible fusion in blending funk, soul with catchy rock guitar licks and the undeniably powerful range of emotion and depth from its lead vocalist, A.J. Haynes.
Which brings me to the following note – If you’re into a live music that abandons the flashy visuals and stagecraft for pure energy from the music itself, then Seratones are a must-see. If their Power promotional tour is anything like what they did for Get Gone, then you won’t be disappointed in the live grooving energy you will get. Expect in injection of musical adrenaline for a night you won’t easily forget.