Review: Artwork – Black and White

Artist: Artwork
Album: Black and White
Rating: 5/5

Artwork can be expressed in many different forms. The most commonly thought of is that of a visual medium. For me, the best art is created with music and it’s best done by those who can create a visual spectacle, while also showing an immense amount of talent. For SLC’s Artwork, they pride themselves on a live show that has to be experienced to be understood. Combining captivating post-hardcore music with what they’ve labeled as “tantrum-core,” loud music and great times are to be felt by all who attend a performance by these 4 individuals. Since their inception (still in high school), they’ve turned heads throughout the music scene and brought major attention to themselves through the release of their music video for “Black and White,” from the forthcoming EP of the same name. Revival Recordings CEO/Founder Shawn Milke prides himself on giving chances to bands who, he feels, will bring something different to the table. It was through the reception for this video that he found the band and, ultimately, signed them to his label and brought them along on their “10 Frail Years of Vanity and Wax” tour. On the surface, this band may look like a group of misfits who are just using music to piss their parents off and, perhaps, that could be true. Dig deeper, though, and you’ll find that there is a method behind their madness.

Once you get a taste of vocalist Sky Verdone’s talent in what he does, soaring high with his voice and digging deep with his lyrics, you’ll find yourself quickly addicted. Though the music may feel like a chaotic mess at times, don’t let it fool you. This band may be fresh on the scene but they portray themselves as anything but amateurs. In fact, this EP stands tall (and ascends above) many of the releases in their genre this year. The title track deals with the idea of seeing all of the hypocrisy, negativity and fake nature in the music scene. Verdone calls to the listener, urging them not to fall in with the crowd, to break free from the chains of the negative stigmas that society puts on the outcasts. It also deals with the issue of substance abuse, while fighting a war within yourself and the issue of peer pressure in life. The track”13″ expands on these ideas but deals more with the wars we fight within ourselves, while others seek to put us down. The album, as a whole, is loud, rowdy and explosive… there’s no denying that it might even strike fear into those who first happen upon them. As this is an EP, there is no real build-up or climax to the album but that’s fine. I prefer things like that more on full-lengths, as it gives you more to look forward to in the end. One of my favorite tracks is “Ocean in the Devil’s Eyes,” which deals with the temptations of lust and how they can blind a person, making them do outrageous things. This track is probably the most “tame” on the EP, in terms of the overall sound, as it features a ton of clean vocal parts and a pretty radio-ready, pop-esque vibe. That is, until the bridge, which reminds you just how heavy they can get. While listening to the EP, you’ll quickly get a feel for how they’ve branded themselves as “tantrum-core,” as the raw angst, emotion and aggression are layered over an atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re alone in a dark room, in deep thought with nothing else but their music.

Revival Recordings is continuing to score phenomenal bands and it’s unlikely that is going to stop anytime soon. As Milke has been around the block more than a few times, he really knows what will turn heads in this day and age. I wouldn’t be surprised if Artwork becomes a household name within a couple of years. The bottom line is, whether you’re a fan of the post-hardcore genre and love that raw, emotional feel that comes with few other genres or you’re a fan of Revival Recordings… Black and White deserves your attention. Even better, it CRAVES your attention. So do yourself and pre-order your copy now! The curtains are pulled back on this monster on October 14th and you can currently catch them on the “10 Frail Years of Vanity and Wax” tour w/Alesana, Oh, Sleeper, Famous Last Words and Two O’Clock Courage.

Pre-Order Black and White
MerchNow | iTunes

“Black and White” (Official Music Video)

“13” (Official Lyric Video)

Artwork on Social Media
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Artwork is:

Sky Verdone
Aaron Rudelich
Jarvis Anderson
Sean Valdez