The Movielife - Cities In Search Of A Heart (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Movielife

Cities In Search Of A Heart (2017)


When you think of Long Island punk, bands like Taking Back Sunday, Brand New and Bayside are the ones that'll surely come to mind. However, you can't forget The Movielife. They broke up in 2003 and 14 years later, they're back with Cities In Search Of A Heart. This album finds the band more or less picking up where they left off but fine-tuning to a more polished, radio-friendly sound (which comes as no surprise as they're under Rise). Because of singer Vinnie Caruana and guitarist Brandon Reilly's time apart, coming back together brings a ton of stories that really act as their most mature to date. I'm still on the fence about their overall catalog but this holds up as their most catchy, accessible to date.

Caruana did his thing with I Am The Avalanche and Reilly with Nightmare Of You, and you can tell they bring the strengths of those acts in and marry them with what The Movielife was and what they want it to be. Whether it's the catchy, melodic post-hardcore spin on "Ghosts in the Photograph" to the poppier NFG-esque tracks like "Sister Saint Monica" and "Laugh Ourselves To Death" you can tell this isn't a record to please fans of old alone, but also to move forward with the times. 

As the acoustic "Pour Two Glasses" reiterates, there's nothing wrong with being wrapped up in the world's nihilism as long as you're prepared to fight and toast to life's struggles. Which is what Caruana and Reilly acknowledge on the album -- from the vocal dynamics, to flexible pop-punk rhythms, it's all about bouncy, vibrant jams that details friends and brothers missing each other and who now have a lot of catching up to do.