“Serafin combine strong pop sensibilities with a hardedge and incendiary live performance; think ‘Blurmeets Foo Fighters‘ or ‘Jane’s Addiction meets Weezer.'” These are bold statements, be they the words from an ambitiousSerafin or their trusty PR machine. Either way, such a statement requiressome introspection, namely therather abrasive contrast from one auspice to another.
Opener Stephen’s in the Sky is a proto percussionintro to the album which suddenly cuts into the sleazy popsuss of current single Day by Day. Things Fall Apart follows the depressingthemes of Stephen’s In The Sky, touchingon a breakup in a sad/happy melodic style. No Happy is a brilliant, almostspoken word short story, with the Serafinrhythm section perfectly complementing Ben Fox Smith’s devious delivery. Awkwardriffs and Fox Smith’s now lazy croonagain showcase some ingenuitive ability on Numerical.
Due in large to the foursome evading the tendency forBritish rock acts to ride the carpet oftheir American counterparts, frontman Ben Fox Smith has a distinct stylewhich prowls between a Brian Molko-with-balls drawl through to all out vocal chordshredorama… Ben, good luck live…
Similarly Serafin’s sound has a vintage British feelto it while the strings and productionare ingested and spewed, creating a chic 21st century rawness, something fewrock acts create inthese stripped to the bone, uber-producer supremo times.
Where the foursome fall short is, crucially, in thefinal third. Build High, Tear Low is too damned annoying with clankymelodies and an ill thought-out structure. An anthemic chorus and some hard-edgedvocal work from the impressive Fox Smithdispel the Simon Cowell treatment though. Sadly the same can’t be said forthe ensuing trio of fillers. It was only after these that I woke up in time for the upbeat, soft-rock ballad Who Could I Be?
Clocking at a sharp 42 minutes, No Push Collide is aworld away from the (now clear) PR soundbite. Notthat it’s a bad thing. For while the above-mentioned quartet of names mayattract eyes and ears, Serafin havekept their heads down and delivered a solid debut.
With festival dates and promo touring in the works,Serafin have got the chance to bring their genuinely unique sound tothe masses. After that, some experience should help them fulfil the evidentpotential. Roll on album number two…