Seratones: Love & Algorhythms (New West) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, February 4th, 2023  

Seratones

Love & Algorhythms

New West

Apr 28, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


When Seratones released Get Gone in 2016, the band fit easily into the lineage of Sleater-Kinney, right down to the jagged punk riffs and Corin Tucker-esque intonation of singer A.J. Haynes. For this reason, it’s tempting to almost overlook the record; but then the title track “Get Gone” starts up, and for the first time the listener gets to hear Haynes without the pretense of influence. In a track that’s guided by her unique voice, a reedy, powerful mezzo-soprano tool, the listener hears what makes the group worth paying attention to.

On their third album, Love & Algorhythms, Seratones have made a protest record that completely departs from their initial sound and mines the soundscapes of the past to comment on the present. In these spare, blissed-out soundscapes, the influence of 1980s greats such as Janet Jackson and Herbie Hancock can be heard in the synthesized keyboards, droning piano melodies, and odd echoed sounds on songs such as “Two of a Kind” and the title track. Elsewhere, the deliberate arrangements of Maxwell, D’Angelo, and Erykah Badu can be heard in the emphasis on the voice on “Get Your Shit Together, Babe.”

While Haynes, guitarist Travis Stewart, pianist Tyran Coker, bassist Adam Davis, and drummer Jesse Gabriel aim to speak on the culture from a quiet place of joy, the ambiguity of the lyrics can work against this mission. In using a universal “you,” Hynes gives herself permission to dial up or down the specifics as she sees fit. However, after several tracks before and after “Evidence (Poem Interlude)”—which begins with the lines, “Blessed are you of many names/For revealing infinite paths of healing” and only becomes more angular and obtuse from there—it’s hard not to wish for something more substantial when the upbeat funk of “Get Free” begins with, “You better say what you mean, and mean what you say/Ain’t no way around judgment day.” In context the song works perfectly, but it’s a pleasure when Haynes is more poetic and strange with her phrasing.

Things come together perfectly in “Dark Matter,” a song that puts Haynes’ voice front-and-center, allowing her to use full melodic lines and speak-singing to create a feeling of sinking, not unlike that of The Sunken Place in Jordan Peele’s Get Out. Hynes paints the soundscape with images of nude bodies and abandonment to the seasons, letting her skills shine, and making it worthwhile to sink into the darkness with her, journeying along to reflect on our larger national life. (www.seratones.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 6/10



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.