Monday, 18 June 2012

New Artist Alert: Seraphim

Seraphim are a 5-piece rock band from Chichester, UK who formed in 2010. Tags such as alternative pop and progressive guitar rock define the band who have performed at some of my old haunts including The Joiners in Southampton and The Railway Inn, Winchester and the guys have just recently released their 3-track EP entitled 'Awkward Silence' of which I've had a listen to.

The EP kicks off, or rather gently casts from the shore, with opener 'See You Again' with its steadily-embellished piano riff and conscious rhythm section. The vocals are pleasant though I feel rather a long-time coming; having said that they reflect the progressive nature of the track well which builds to its first chorus, driving well, but could maybe do with a little more from the cymbals department to help push the accents home on the kit. The guitar really opens up in the middle 8 section, muddying the waters and throwing down the gauntlet for the sloshy hi-hats and confident backing-vocals of the final chorus.

'Can't and Won't' is a nice, radio-friendly pop-rock song which features some lovely dual-lead vocals. The guitar sounds a little uncertain in the intro and could maybe benefit from borrowing some lead-lines from the keys or at least harmonising with them just to offer another layer and a little more texture but this is purely a personal opinion. The chorus is steady and, though doesn't pack too much of a punch, is nonetheless effective and the middle 8 is once again where the track really opens up nicely and it's great to hear a guitar solo featured as the song fades to the EP's final track...

...'Losing Run' is like the naughty, rebellious younger brother that the family are keen to hide from friends at gatherings with it's tainted, rockier edge and crunchy guitars. The female vocals take the lead for this one and sound great and, as an arrangement, the track really stands out. There's a lovely cymbal-wash fading into the second chorus to maximise the impact following the brief pause and a pulsing breakdown as the piano takes centre stage before the rest of the band rock a little harder to bring us home. The double-time is a nice touch in the last of the double-choruses as something was definitely needed for differentiation and the outro confidently caps off a great-sounding EP.

I really like Seraphim and what they're doing, and it's certainly refreshing to hear an unsigned band not be drawn into the pop-punk abyss, though I feel there is even more scope for an even stronger EP. The talent and song-writing ability is clearly evident, but with perhaps a little more post-production work on the recordings and some real work on the vocals the band could sound better still. Don't get me wrong, both the male and female vocals are great in their own rights but there was only a hint of them sharing the mic in Can't and Won't and I'd love to hear the guys really make a feature of the dual-lead vocals (I know it's cheesy, but think Alphabeat!).

Seraphim are ready and waiting for you to check them out on Facebook, and I urge you to try and catch them live soon.

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Thanks for taking the time to write :)