The Artist Life - Living (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Artist Life

Living (2007)


The Artist Life are Canada's answer to contemporary melodic punk coming out of the Northeast US (see the Loved Ones, Gaslight Anthem). While boarding slightly more on the pop-punk side of things and drawing less from Springsteen than their immediate influences, the Artist Life stand to make an impressive name for themselves if they can keep with the direction they star on their debut EP Living.

Just so you're certain, there isn't any reason as to why you shouldn't get this; the band is giving it away for free on their website, though, those who choose to shell out their hard-earned dollars will be rewarded with two bonus tracks.

On the album's standout tracks ("City Blocks," "Shipwreck" and "Waiting Room"), the Artist Life come across as a mature band with just enough soaring choruses and backup vocals to mix with the grit of post-punk guitar-work. During these moments, they're a band that one can easily see themselves shouting along with in a live setting. They seem as though they're mature enough as individuals to have depth to their lyrics, but not quite past the point where they're willing to surrender a catchy hook in favor of a time change or solo, and if they can stay there, it's a mighty fine place to be.

For now, this balance of mid-`90s punk and modern Northeastern sound is working wonderfully. It's a tough line to straddle, though, and it will be interesting to see what direction the band takes when it's time for them to hit the studio again.