People that love to make music make a choice at a certain point in their lives. They can go either of two ways: they can make it a hobby, or they can make it a life. Making a life of it requires a lot of commitment, sacrifice and will to follow what you want. For five guys from the Long Island hardcore scene, the choice was pretty obvious. "We all quit our jobs and school to tour basically full time," says Vinny Caruana, The Movielife's singer and lyricist. "It's all we wanna do."
The Movielife was a rock/pop-punk band from Baldwin, New York (Long Island). Formed in the late 90s, the band put out its first full-length, It's Go Time, in 1999 on Fadeaway Records. By this point, the classic lineup of Vinnie Caruana (vocals), Brandon Reilly (guitar), Alex Amiruddin (guitar), Phil Navetta (bass) and Evan Baken (drums) had coalesced. The band built up a strong local following on the strength the album and their live show, and soon jumped to Revelation Records, releasing This Time Next Year in 2000. Like all subsequent released by the band, the album was produced by Brian McTernan. The band toured hard to support the record, including an appearance at the first Skate and Surf Festival in the spring 2001 and a long national tour support Boysetsfire and the then-unknown Thursday that summer. Having built a more national fanbase, helped along by an appearance on the fourth volume of the ever-popular Emo Diaries series, the band jumped to Drive-Thru Records at the end of the tour, and released an EP, Has A Gambling Problem in the fall. Aided by the single "Walking On Glass", the Movielife spent much of the next year on the road supporting other Drive-Thru acts, including Midtown and, later, New Found Glory. On that New Found Glory tour, the band was involved in a serious van accident in North Dakota, forcing the band off of the road and providing the impetus for the centerpiece of their next full-length. Shortly before the recording of Forty-Hour Train Back to Penn, which was finally released in February 2003, Amiruddin departed and was replaced by Dan Navetta. The band embarked on a headlining tour to support the album, but soon announced that they would call it quits, playing their last shows in and around the New York City area in late March and early April 2003. By early 2004, ex-Movielife projects had surfaced, Brandon Reilly fronting Nightmare of You and Vinnie Caruana fronting I Am the Avalanche.
Evan Baken - Drums
Phil Navetta - Bass
Vinnie Caruana - Vocals
Alex Amiruddin - Guitar
Brandon Reilly - Guitar
Interviews and Reviews
This Time Next Year
by Jeremy Hart
The modern hardcore pantheon has always felt fragmented, at least to a relative outsider like myself. The New York hardcore kids listen to their stuff, the West Coast hardcore kids listen to theirs, the DC kids listen to theirs, and so forth, and then the situation's further complicated by divisions into various subgenres, from post-hardcore like Quicksand and the like to more metal-ish stuff, all the way down to that bastard child of indie-rock and hardcore called emo. And sure, some of those kids listen to all different kinds of things -- it's the bands that always seem off in their own little worlds, more often than not. How often does a full-on New York hardcore band break down and get poppy? Or a Santa Cruz skatecore band play a contemplative ode about the rain? Trust me, it's a safe bet that Earth Crisis aren't going to start writing sweet love songs any time soon. (And who knows what might happen if they did?)
So, in comes The Movielife, whose second full-length, This Time Next Year, bridges The Hardcore Gap. The album melds emo/indie-rock, hardcore, and pop seamlessly -- I haven't heard much like this, I have to say, just in terms of the way things flow together. Tracks like "I Hope You Die Soon" and "Another Friend" are nearer NY hardcore than anything else, with lots of "gotta be true" lyrics and super-speedy tempos, but then they throw in stuff like "It's Monday And Raining," a slower, much more melodic Overwhelming Colorfast-style tune, or the impassioned breaks in "10 Seconds Too Late" and "Pinky Swear." The band's sound brings to mind folks like NOFX, Avail, and The Explosion, but with a serious infusion of melody in all the places you'd least expect it.
For those who're worried, be assured that the swing towards the quieter, sweeter side of things doesn't mean all the tracks here are vocalist Vinnie Caruana whining about love-gone-wrong (although some of us happen to like that sort of thing, too). These guys are straight from the streets of New York, and that upbringing really comes into play in the lyrics; nearly every other song on here coming off as a bitter "fuck you" to somebody or other. Read the words if you need evidence: "Lose my number means stop calling me" ("Deal With It"); "And I hope that somehow by the end of the day you'll spit some teeth" ("I Hope You Die Soon"); "I need to know where I stand 'cause I don't need another friend" ("Another Friend"); etc., etc., you get the idea... It may get wearing to some folks, because there's some pretty standard hc posturing going on, but I, for one, say it's good to see that somebody can still blend melody and fist-in-the-air hardcore and make it something new.
www.popmatters.com, by Jeremy Hart