New Breath to an Old Era| Posted March 22, 2018
For those of us who came of age during the 2000s, rock music was a part of our identity. As that distinguished brand of rock has faded more and more into the past, the cravings for a new face to deliver that sound in a fresh way have increased. Enter Andrew Serino. Having already developed a following through YouTube covers and auditioning on American Idol, Serino is poised to bring The Golden Thread to the music world.
What It Sounds Like:
It's like Serino was signed to Tooth & Nail Records in the mid-2000s and then came through a time portal to 2018. So many of the bands that defined the label during that timeframe have echoes on Serino's sound, while Serino still owns his own unique musical identity. Heavy guitars and mostly clean vocals dominate the songs, while quieter subtle instrumental elements round out the tunes into a full sound. Lead single "Wake Up" exemplifies all the best the album has to offer, including a delicious gang vocal hook and a rousing chorus. Beautiful duet "Shadows" with Andrew's wife Heidi Serino is another highlight, showing a slightly softer side of Serino's music. The title track sends the album off in a grand finale of a rocking closer, again highlighting the best of Serino's take on a timeless alt-rock sound.
Like the bands referenced by Serino's sound, Serino hasn't set out to craft a "church" CD here. The lyrics are more focused on positive themes, including calling out negative influences ("Arrogance") and ridding ourselves of harmful habits ("Wake Up"). "Shadows" is arguably the song most likely to be seen as a vertical one, albeit one that can also apply to human relationships. Regardless, the themes of encouragement are consistently above the topics promoted by the typical mainstream.
Best Song On The Record:
"Wake Up" captures everything that is best about The Golden Thread.
A Golden Debut| Posted February 15, 2018
Andrew Serino is a Portland, Ore.-based singer/songwriter who has made quite the entrance with the release of his debut record, The Golden Thread. Unabashedly bringing back harmonic, post-punk alternative music, Serino masters the medium while telling deeply autobiographical stories about his hopes, dreams and struggles. You simply can't let this record exist in an ether; it's dying to be heard.
What it sounds like
Look, I'll tell you this right now: The music Andrew Serino is making isn't in the public consciousness anymore, but he's proving it should be. Leaning heavily from the emo-punk/alternative bands of the mid-'00s, Serino evokes the harmonic acumen of House of Heroes, the soaring lead vocals of Paramore, the pop aftertastes of Anberlin's Stephen Christian and the rock edge of The Almost. All of this comes together quite nicely, thanks to up and coming Northwest producer Justin Abel (who himself is featured on the project).
Serino, a worship leader, has been part of a number of Christian bands--including fronting the exciting upstarts His Legacy--so that commitment to Christ leaks out in his music. As far as overt references to His faith, it's an Anberlin-style approach as he references a lot of themes about his growth as a person, his confidence and the relationships he's trusted with. It's a very practical Christianity that he works out in these songs as he clings to the hope he has.
Best song on the record
Extremely hard to pick one, but I'll have to go with "Wake Up" (Track 2), because it's got the best mix of all the incredible bands I reference below, with the driving pace of "Readyfuels." Just behind it is "Barriers," arguably the most personal and relatable track on the project, and the harder-rocking "Deal With It."
For Fans Of
Anberlin, Paramore, The Almost, House of Heroes, Blindside, Capital Lights
Andrew Serino is further proof that the indie scene is an infinite frontier of incredible artists doing stuff that's as good, if not better, than we're hearing out of the label system. He comes out of the gate like a seasoned veteran, filling a musical void we forgot we missed (but do!).