Louisiana soul rockers Seratones may have reined in their previously brash punk sound in favor of the grungy, modern soul-meets-rock music of POWER, their sophomore record, but the album is no less massive. Out August 23 on New West Records, POWER mixes strong vocals, modern melodies and classic R&B tones to create a sound that’s altogether irresistible.
Though lyrically, POWER delves into self-introspection and the simultaneous good and bad of modern life, its music is nothing if not funky. Songs like the opener, “Fear,” feature fun soul-rock melodies and jangling guitar tones with a layered background-vocal texture, and “Heart Attack” feels brighter both musically and lyrically (“Kiss me like a heart attack”) even as a low bass line grounds the song. “Gotta Get To Know Ya,” too, is an electrifying and buzzing dance track that feels warping, fluid and groovy.
“The groove is integral to each of these songs,” said Haynes in a press release. “As a band, I think we’ve learned to trust ourselves more, to be less reactionary, to know when to hold back. What I love about this album is that we know when to shut up in service of the song.”
Still, though POWER is fun and groovy, it is still a substantial, rich record. “Sad Boi,” a track that leans a little more toward disco, also addresses toxic masculinity and breaks down the idea that men can’t be sad (“Tell me why you’re sad, boy/Tell me why you’re mad, boy/Think I want a sad boy/To keep me company”). “Power” promises strength in the face of oppression (“We take two steps forward/They take one step backward/We take each step to lift us up higher”).
Overall, Seratones take themselves and the world around them seriously on POWER, but the groove of the music keeps the album buoyant and accessible. POWER is truly a grand sophomore record. It’s controlled and confident while still feeling thrilling, and Seratones’ rich soul-rock sound is bold, unique and irresistibly cool. To follow up the release, Seratones is slated to tour North America and Europe for the next few months – don’t miss those dates, and find more information here. In the meantime, and for those whose cities aren’t listed on Seratones’ tour, stream and purchase POWER via Bandcamp below.