Sound — 10
Imagine Nirvana, by way of The Vines. Then add elements of Placebo, and you'd be very close to envisaging what Serafin sounds like. It's a mix of grunge and catchy, melodic randomness, sometimes reffered to as "dirt rock" (although this term was apparently invented by Kerrang). It is a harsh, raw sound, blended with rich, agreeable melodies, and the album itself has very different sides. Tracks such as "Day By Day" and "things Fall Apart", the first two singles, are easily accessible, and easy on the ear. However, delve a little deeper and you are greeted by songs like "No Happy", which usually require a bit more patience before you really start to accept the brilliance. The beauty of Serafin is that you never quite know what to expect, because the sound changes so much. The pleasing thing, though, is that the band that produces such an uneasy sound can be just as comfortable playing quieter songs like "Peaches From Spain" as they can loud, grunge-like songs such as "Lethargy". The bottom line is: they stand out.
Lyrics — 8
This is where Serafin can either be built up or fall down, depending on what kind of lyrics you prefer. Fans of Placebo will lap up the arty, random style, whereas others may be put off, because they very rarely make sense in the context of the song. Personally, I think it's great that Ben can manage to write like this and still make it sound good - it shows a lot of talent, really. He himself has a good voice, again sounding raw and blending nicely with the music. The majority of the album is sung, with the occasional light scream, Nirvana style. Ben's is a gritty voice, and this style suits the mood very well.
Overall Impression — 8
It's a good album, definitely. Some tracks are aren't as good as the rest, but it's certainly very arty and very original. It takes elements of grunge, rock and perhaps a bit of pop-rock to create a sound unrivalled in this genre (indeed, if they are the first "dirt rock" band, then they are, by default, the best). I would definitely but it again, even though I don't listen to it as much now as I used to - it's still a good album to go back to. "Day By Day" in particular is one of those songs you can just switch on and enjoy. Other key tracks are "No Happy", "Sage Waits", "Lethargy" and "Things Fall Apart". A solid album with plenty of promise from the Brits.