Vinnie Caruana – Aging Frontman

  • Cole Faulkner posted
  • Reviews

Vinnie Caruana

Aging Frontman - Know Hope Records

The Movielife and I Am The Avalanche frontman Vinnie Caruana isn’t really the type of artist you’d necessarily expect to embark on a foray off to the woods of solo artistry.  His voice has been more known for it’s entrenchment in the emo/screamo/post-hardcore scene than as a stand alone force. There’s nothing wrong with this, it just makes the soft, melancholy nature of Caruana’s latest solo EP all the more surprising.  But encounters with the unexpected can be highly rewarding, and Caruana’s newest offering, Aging Frontman, offers just that.

The album opens with a somber ambient hum, setting the careful, reflective tone that quickly defines Aging Frontman.  The mood contrasts well with the innocent smile of the child on the cover art (a picture of Caruana as a child perhaps?), in a sort of “what-once-was-no-longer-is” type of is.  Caruana showcases his way with words, describing life’s fading flicker in the line, “When we leave our bodies, when the rolling blackouts become permanent.” It’s a unique take on completing one’s life journey that sent chills down my spine on more than one occasion.

There’s a certain darkness to the entire affair, the type that comes with waking up and reflecting upon one’s life and wondering if you could have done more.  “Alone” finds Caruana channelling his vocal coarseness into quiet anguish while exploring the experience of solitude. Aging Frontman features a softness in delivery that guides all six songs even when Caruana dives into the realm of what might be classified as post-punk or post-hardcore.  Seahaven, Brand New, and Manchester Orchestra are distantly related to the slow moving and distorted ambience of songs like “Dying in the Living Room,” and “Providence.”  Caruana’s calm anguished cries are more melodic than abrasive, garnering empathy and understanding with each passing vocalisation.  “Tex The Rock Johnson” is a sonic outlier, concluding the album with an upbeat summertime strummer that finds Caruana morphing into an optimist in many heartfelt descriptions of affection.  It’s a lovely stand alone moment, but also dovetails the album into a satisfying and unique conclusion.

Aging Frontman isn’t Vinnie Caruana’s first foray into solo work, but it certainly redefines his focus as a solo artist.  Survivor’s Guilt was a solid first effort, but in retrospect it was rather predictable, with songwriting that pales in comparison with Aging Frontman’s depth and personality.  This time around, Vinnie Caruana takes some welcome risks, resulting in a solo EP that is so much more than another punk frontman gone acoustic.