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Serotheft, Serotheft EP 

Album Review

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(Halogen Records, CD, digital download)

Serotheft, a Burlington-based “live-tronica” dance-music quartet, recommends on their website that listeners catch them on the road and “prepare for the rage.”

So, one might ask, what does a Serotheft rage look or sound like? To this listener, the band’s self-titled debut EP is less party animal than subdued soirée; the advertised funk and jam is more like the stuff of a sidewalk jazz-festival act. Meaning that you’re likely to stop and listen for a minute before moving on.

This is not to say that the boys in Serotheft — drummer Devin Atcherly, guitarist Ted Kenney, keyboardist Derek Rice, and bassist Alex Greene — aren’t talented. It is saying that they use their prodigious chops to make boring songs. On the bright side, Serotheft made the wise decision to disregard lyrics (though Kenney and Rice are credited with vocals on the band’s website).

The EP’s first cut is called “Hue of Don,” and, if it were a dish, its neo-hippie/smooth-jazz vibe would make many red-blooded listeners ask the waiter to return it to the kitchen. “Hue of Don” (Oblique reference to a made man? An American-North Vietnamese battle of 1968? The teachings of some dude named Don?) has a relaxing mood that would suit the lotophagi. Other tracks have the same feel, from the trying-hard-to-be-funky “Vanilla Buckets” to the overly chill “Cavalcade.” In other words, for the most part, Serotheft EP seems unlikely to incite raging.

There is one gem on this release, however. “Albatross,” the EP’s fifth track, is a haunting, moody affair. Rather than being an infernal weight, as its name would suggest, “Albatross” is the EP’s moment of uplift.

But sample Serotheft EP for yourself — it’s currently a free download on Bandcamp. Or check them out live: Serotheft play Vermont Pub & Brewery on Friday, June 28, and are throwing an EP-release party on Saturday, June 29, at Nectar’s. For more information, visit serotheft.com.

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