On Tuesday, the band Artwork released their debut EP, Just To Feel Alive, a polished six-track introduction to the unsigned alternative rock group from Hoboken, New Jersey. Led by the single “Skies,” Just To Feel Alive is a small, yet well-crafted serving of melodic hard rock with pop-sensitive songwriting and could be indicative of big things for the trio of Darren Fisher, Jaime Munoz, and James Garcia.
The first four songs on the EP stick to Artwork’s basic formula, melodies mixed in with catchy guitar hooks and hard, powerful drumming. Each song, however, brings a little something different to the record. The lead track, “Skies,” immediately calls attention to the EP, using a well-crafted quiet-loud dynamic as the catch of the song. “Paperweight” takes a two-pronged approach, as the track begins with a simple but catchy riff before some of the best drumming on the record takes over. “Casting Stones,” likely the EP’s best song, benefits from an “Iris”-like change in time signature before leading into an exciting, minute-long mix of guitar and drums.
Towards the end of Just To Feel Alive, Artwork veers into a different direction with the acoustic ballad “Silver and Gold,” a track which could fit well with a more diverse full-length project that one is apt to yearn for after the EP is complete.
It will be interesting to see how far forward Just To Feel Alive propels Artwork, as the band clearly has the skill to create heartfelt songs while simultaneously showing off their chops as musicians, a combination that does not always reveal itself so early in a group’s career.
On the noteworthy side of things: Just To Feel Alive was mastered by Richard Dodd, who also engineered Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 and Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3, and either mixed or engineered Green Days’ Time of Your Life, and Tom Petty’s Wildflowers, Into The Great Wide Open, and She’s The One, among many others (two guys named George and Ringo).
Just To Feel Alive is available as a digital download on itunes and can be ordered as a compact disc through the band’s website, http://www.artworkband.com/fr_home.cfm.