Seratones – Power


We will admit when reading the press release for new album Power, that US outfit Seratones had set about “trading in the brash proto-punk of their critically acclaimed debut for a timeless brand of gritty soul, one that takes its cues from vintage Motown and Stax even as it flirts with modern synthesizers and experimental arrangements” we had the beginning of a sinking feeling as Get Gone was one vigorously thrilling and addictive encounter. Dipping into its successor though, we quite simply found something even more glorious and irresistible; that casual perusal becoming a rapacious devouring in swift time.

The melodic and soulful prowess of the Shreveport quintet was certainly no secret within their debut album but has just been set alight through the band’s classic inspirations for their hungrily evolving sound and second full-length. The vocals of AJ Haynes again grips attention, within Power her presence and delivery a siren drawing ears and appetite eagerly into the melodic and soulful rock ‘n’ roll of the release. She seems to hungrily relish the new direction in the band’s sound while alongside the major shift in its evolution has led to original guitarist Connor Davis leaving and guitarist Travis Stewart and keyboardist Tyran Coker enlisted to join Haynes, drummer Jesse Gabriel, and bassist Adam Davis; a union which from start to finish had the body grooving and passions racing within Power.

Produced by Cage The Elephant guitarist Brad Shultz, the album instantly lays down the richest bait with the rhythmic lure of Fear, the opener an enticing prowl before slipping into a rapacious stroll with melodic crystals breaking upon its immediate contagion. Haynes just as quickly embraces eager ears with her seductive lures, the tapestry of sixties temptation inciting swinging hips and feet to be as boisterous as the appetite for the song’s sweltering temptation. The first irresistible moment of the release, the song sets the tone and adventure of Power whilst hinting at its diverse web of temptation.

The throaty lure of Davis’ bass is just as manipulative within the album’s following title track, with the animation of Gabriel’s beats rousing an eager canter awash with the caresses of Coker’s keys. Instincts again are quickly sparked by the song, the body bouncing to its enthused energy and movement as vocals and melodies rise with matching persuasion and shimmering heat. If the first track had the listener physically doing its bidding, its successor is pure slavery with creative devilment roaring with a blend of The Crystals bred pop and the power soul of Chantal Claret (Morning wood) and living up to its name in strength, roar, and heart.

Heart Attack follows with a just as enslaving sound and character, Haynes alluring voice an immediate persuasion amongst oriental spiced melodic teasing before another insatiable surge of pop ‘n’ soul flavoured rock ‘n’ roll breaks out. There is a relatively more controlled urgency to its stride compared to those before it even with the hint of power pop insistency with the keys a beguiling shimmer of intimation, one which effortlessly seduced before Lie To My Face brings its own individual temptation and presence forward. It too found no resistance to its slow compelling saunter and heated melodies as subtle but piercing hooks line voice and sound with inescapable resourcefulness.

An echo of the band’s earlier proto-punk styled sound sizzles within next up Gotta Get To Know Ya, lurking around even as the track erupts with spiky R&B revelry. The song’s funk swing gets under the skin within a host of further seconds; its pop instincts just as vocal within the punk breath escaping its lungs while Over You deviously provoked and received full involvement with a seduction akin to a fusion of Aretha Franklin and Mari Wilson.

The array of flavours within the core funk/soul heart of Power is as tantalising as its songs, a gospel-esque undertone to the tantalising croon of Permission with the following Sad Boi bringing a more eighties spiced electronic pop ‘n’ roll to tease and tempt adding to its wealth. Both songs beguiled as they aroused though each are slightly eclipsed by the rapturous enterprise of Who Are You Now, a slice of irresistibility with a great Asa feel to it.

Power is brought to a close by the heart bred magnetism of Crossfire, the rich prowess and call of Haynes’ vocals hugged by the intimacy of keys as dark hues resonate; it all building up to a fire of creative drama for one spellbinding end to a simply magnificent release.

Seratones has taken a bold step with their sound and we can only say we have all been blessed as one of the year’s most essential moments has been born.

Power is out now through New West Records; available @

Pete RingMaster 05/09/2019

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Anton Mink: Outside The Lines

Anton Mink is a band that wraps itself around the ear like a balmy summer night, their sounds a sultry and sexy mesmeric pleasure that teases and inflames leaving one a little bit sweaty and more than a touch excited. Their latest album Outside The Lines is a temptress, a wanton fusion of sirenesque melodies and vibrant warmth borne from sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. It leaves one with a glow, an inner tingle that can only be appeased by diving right back into the refreshing light and hazy sounds that caused the problem in the first place.

Already previously hooked by the track Beer On The Floor, a song repeatedly on a consistent rotation here the prospect of reviewing the album unleashed an impatient anticipation and eagerness before it even found its way into the ear. Outside The Lines does not disappoint as the ten songs within offer a varied and completely rewarding treat for the senses. From the opener through to the closing notes the album is a fiesta for the heart and a mischievous pleasure for the soul.

Louisville, Kentucky quartet Anton Mink came to be when punk bassist Curtis Flame (Anton Z) started a project to combine distinct creativity and individuality. An initial advert in a local paper led the talented electronic inspired singer Chloa and her wonderfully unique vocals to answer his call, and already the band taking an inventive form. After a harder search the duo found a drummer off a post on a music shop wall and guitarist Andy Jack via an ad in a local school of music. A small tour followed as well as their self titled debut album in 2007. With the follow up Outside The Lines unveiled in the latter months of last year and a new drummer in Clinton added through craiglist, Anton Mink are set to make a striking and naughty mark during 2012 with the album taking the lead.

The album opens with Watchman, colourful melodic notes spotting the ear as drums hustle eagerly in preparation for the glory ahead. Flame’s bass pulsates with a beckoning glee whilst the jazzy play of Jack dazzles without blinding. Immediately Chloa joins all attention veers towards her enthused and distinctive tones. She offers a teasing vibrancy and intriguing delivery that captivates and leads one by the hand like a seductress. The quality of the songwriting allows her to shine, hard to stop really but uses her irrepressible style as a focus to wrap its equally inventive and infectious ingenuity around.

Shysty swaggers in next moving from the jazz funk leanings of its predecessor into a rock n roll based song with a soulful feel to it that blends perfectly with the keen stomp that veins the track. The song is like that legendary tart with a heart, its flow enticing like an exotic dancer and its emotion touching.

As mentioned the sounds are diverse and unpredictable, the likes of the excellent classic progressive rock/pink spiced My God which gives a thought of this is how The Pixies would have sounded if around in the late sixties, Pristine Chapel with its southern rock/country infusion, and the sizzling burn up of Volcanic Vacation where the band venture into the harder electrified rock of a Blood Ceremony, all offering something strikingly different and fully compulsive.

The best moments on the album lie side by side starting with the delicious Chronic with its reggae/Caribbean driven flourishes and hypnotic pulse beat. With Chloa adding an extra lit to her irresistible vocals so she reminds a little of Asa, the song is a hot cruise for the heart, a party to revel in, and an addiction impossible not to be hooked by. This is followed by the previously mentioned Beer On The Floor, a lustful song of drunken mischief with a tinge of regret but at the same time musically sounding quite proud of itself despite the words Chloa expresses, she cannot fool us.

Outside The Lines is pure pleasure from start to finish, an unassuming release that inspires and offers something new persistently. If you have not heard of Anton Mink, start right here and be prepared for that cold shower you might need right after.

RingMaster 29/03/2012 Registered & Protected

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Kelly Paige – Hurt Like Me

All us men folk know to fear a woman scorned something Kelly Paige and her debut single Hurt Like Me reminds with sweetly innocent venom. The song is a vengeful anthem delivered with an infectious smile and the knowing glint in the eye that there is payback coming. A few steps short of ‘bunny boiler’ menace and wicked intent oozes from the song, even more so if listening and watching the video. The emotive but steely tone that delivers the song makes one wonder if a certain lady is coming with her first distinct and impressive recording from personal experience.

Kelly Paige began playing guitar and writing songs at 13, her songwriting influenced and shaped from a childhood spent in an almost nomadic way. Her early years were spent in South African before moving to various parts of the USA, music being her companion and the flavours from each new experience absorbed into her music’s evolution. Though just her first release, the track alone reveals an eclectic blend and glittering strands of pop-punk, rock and soulful pop within. Away from the theme of the song there is a sense of personal interest and passion to her music that many never manage to get across and a quote from Kelly reveals “When I was a kid, I used to sit in my room listening to my CDs for hours just reading along with the lyrics in the CD insert. Partially because I was grounded all of the time and there was nothing else I could do, but mostly because I was just obsessed with it. It was my escape. I want my music to be that for other people”.

Her time in Nashville was especially fruitful winning a songwriting competition judged by the publishing company Big Yellow Dog Music whilst attending Belmont University as well as grabbing the attention of and getting a fan in Willie Nelson’s bass player, Bee Spears who later played in Kelly’s band in Nashville. Kelly is currently experiencing and playing in the UK pleasuring the ears of London with her band “The Players”, stirring up even more acclaim and attention, something Hurt Like Me will surely escalate upon its release October 31st through Playgun Music. 

Taken from her forthcoming album and produced by Ben Mason (Arctic Monkeys, The Kooks, Razorlight) and Glen Nicholls (Snow Patrol, I Blame Coco, Everything Everything), Hurt Like Me is a darkly tinged engaging and welcoming pop song. With an unassuming and almost low key opening it sneakily keeps secret the tour-de-force of impassioned bitterness and wicked revenge within. With beckoning keys, pulsing bass probing and the glorious vocals of Paige the track resonates on many levels sending tingles down every male spine as it expands to unveil its ‘poison’. The lyrics come with a great dark humour, the wicked glint always twinkling and epitomised by a quote from the singer about the rumour the song is spawned from a relationship with her band’s guitarist. “If it were about my guitarist, wouldn’t making him play the song at our gigs just be the ultimate act of revenge?”

The song brings hints of the likes of Amy Winehouse, Asa, and Imelda May at times but there is a different freshness to Paige that is invigorating. The song brings smiles, thoughts and tingles as it plays, and no doubt knowing nods from the woman of the world and fearful shivers in the men. Maybe Kelly Paige has set in motion a wave of avenging angels with her stunning single, only time will tell but for sure she has given the year one of the best debuts and songs.

RingMaster 02/10/2011 Registered & Protected


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