Vinnie Caruana: City By The Sea

vinnie-caruana-city-by-the-sea-reviewThis commercial just implied that if I drank Dr. Pepper, I could be a kickass boxer. I haven’t had a soda in months, but I doubt that’s what’s standing in the way of being in shape. Other than carbonated propaganda, I’m sitting here a little before 1am with Vinnie Caruana’s City By The Sea playing, thinking of what I’m going to do after the Finch show at the end of the week. All those mean a lot to people my age, except that City By The Sea isn’t a Movielife record, it’s far from it. It’s got an acoustic folk feel with a punk attitude that makes a better impression the second and third time around.

The whole album plays like a musical eulogy. Every track seems to center around death and the idea of it. “Somehow The World Keeps Turning” notes not dying in one’s car and talking oneself down; suicide averted? Let’s hope so. “Boy, You’re In Heaven” and “To Be Dead and In Love” both have titles that suggest death and mention graves and their inhabitants.  Every song played like a gritty folk song with a clear message, minus the sing song ways of “If I’m a Battleship, Then You’re the Northern Lights (Thank You).” It could’ve been about the same thing as all the others, but it was such a ditty, that I just moved my head along to it carelessly.

As for the music that surrounds these death notes, it’s folk punk. There’s no other way to put it. If you took Frank Turner and made him grow up in America, had him start a band that made a huge dent and then let him go off and grow up a bit, you’d have Vinnie Caruana’s current style. Speaking of, because I’ve been dragged to a Frank Turner show or two, I can tell you that this style of music is what people in their mid-20s to early 30s are into because they’re a little older and looking for a new, mature sound, but don’t want to abandon the rebellion in their music just yet. That’s what I heard and envisioned throughout City By The Sea.

It’s closing in on 1am and my night is not ending with this paragraph, oh no…there’s more work to be done since I took the afternoon off to try and get Magic Johnson’s autograph on a jersey I found in the trash years ago. That’s another story for another day though. So as I look at my “to do” list and groan, I want you to know that if you’re into dudes like Chuck Ragan and Dave Hause, then you’ll like what Vinnie Caruana’s City By The Sea, out February 5th via Surrender/Run For Cover.

Also make sure to check Vinnie out when he sets sail (not really, no cruise here) on The Acoustic Basement Tour with Geoff Rickly of Thursday, Brian Marquis of Of Therefore I Am and more, starting February 1st.



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