Notable new releases this week include an epic loose concept album by emerging indie singer/songwriter Car Seat Headrest “Teens of Denial”, the second album from the pre-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers band Mudcrutch (with Petty on bass instead of guitar) “2”, new “supergroup” (featuring members from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Blood Brothers) Head Wound City’s loud hardcore abrasive “A New Wave of Violence” and new singles from the Scottish electronic band Chvrches and the criminally underrated Chicago rockers Chevelle.  All worth checking out.
Among the many great releases over the past month includes the debut album from passionate Louisiana vintage soul/R&B/punky garage rockers Seratones, titled “Get Gone”.  Imagine Alabama Shakes at their highest intensity, with some added Louisiana swing and a general looseness in their sound that gives off a celebratory vibe.  The band name is very fitting for the music they play, playing off of the word “serotonin” which is a chemical produced by the body that makes you feel happy.  Maybe Car Seat Headrest should talk to this band about coming up with a better name… Anyway, the band first formed in Shreveport, the original three all knew each from the local music scene – vocalist/guitarist A.J. Haynes, guitarist Connor Davis and drummer Jesse Gabriel.  Once they got a block of time in a local recording studio, the three added bassist Adam Davis (Connor’s brother).  The band quickly made a name for themselves on the local music scene with their live shows.  The Seratones got their big break when playing a show in Arkansas with a band called NERVES.  The NERVES lead singer worked at Fat Possum Records, one of the best southern indie labels, and he convinced the label head to check out the band.  The Seratones were signed by Fat Possum, and that led to their debut album that came out this month “Get Gone”.
Haynes is a POWERFUL vocalist and frontwoman and she is the main catalyst for the band.  Not that the rest of the band doesn’t do a great job backing her up, because they do.  But Haynes has a strong and dynamic voice that demands your attention.  She developed her pipes singing in church choirs (how many times have you heard that background for great singers?), and her destiny is to be singing this kind of music.  She can rip it up tempo, take it way down as needed – just a ton of versatility with her vocals and delivered with an energy and charisma that you can’t teach.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s in the future for this band, hopefully they gain some positive press and firmly establish themselves in the music world.  And the album has a lot of great songs on it, I’d jotted down over half a dozen before picking the three I’m sharing below.  So there’s plenty of reasons to listen to their debut album – check them out!
“Choking on Your Spit” – This is the lead track on the album and it’s a great way to kick-off the record.  This song highlights the band’s punky, loose and loud side, but punk bands don’t typically feature a vocalist with these pipes.  This song launches full bore and maintains the intensity throughout its short runtime.  The one exception is the quick stop-start that is kicked back off by a little bass solo before the rest of the band blasts off into the ending. – bonus live performance from their national television debut
“Get Gone” – Taking things down a notch on the title track to show a slower side of the band but there’s no loss of intensity, it’s just shared in smaller doses.  Haynes’ vocals are highlighted a bit more since the music is slower and more open, and she gets plenty of room to stretch them out.  Davis also highlights some understated guitar playing, never flashy but provides some solid riffs throughout the track.

“Chandelier” – Kicking it back into a higher gear again, Haynes lets off a great little squeal near the beginning of this song before going into her vocals.  The band does an effective job of slowing it down a bit in order to highlight the sound when dial it back up.  Again, Haynes shows off vocals that are all over the spectrum, knowing when to bring it down and then ratchet up the intensity.  Near the end of this song, there’s a great little drum break before the band and Haynes dial it up to 10 until the track abruptly ends. – bonus live performance from their national television debut
Notable new releases this week are a bit slim but I’ll give a shout out to the new EP from New York indie rockers the Strokes “Future Present Past” and the 5th album from the duo featuring Alison Mosshart (The Dead Weather) on vocals The Kills “Ash & Ice” (it’s good, I’ve listened to it).

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