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Album Review: Cities in Search of a Heart by The Movielife

The Movielife return with their first album in 14 years, Cities in Search of a Heart is released on 22nd September via Rise Records. The story of this record officially began two years ago, after spending a decade on their own projects Vinnie Caruana’s I Am The Avalanche and Brandon Reilly’s Nightmare Of You the duo started playing shows together as The Movielife again. “The two of us became close friends again and we both felt like we had learned so much about songwriting since the early 2000s that we should do another record together,” Caruana recalls, speaking from his home in Brooklyn. “We had a great reaction to our reunion shows in 2014 but felt that instead of keeping it on a purely nostalgic level we wanted to write a record together that people could get into today.” Not wanting to taint the band’s legacy or recycle the past, the duo faced with the monumental task of figuring out exactly who The Movielife are now, which was no easy task.

Caruana and Reilly initially struggled with writing the record until last year when they had the realization that they simply needed to make a new album that captured the punk spark that had been so prevalent in all their previous releases. “I knew the tempos had to be up and we had to be energetic because that’s what our shows are like and that element is so important to who we are as a band,” Caruana explains. “I have to admit that the task of making this record seemed slightly impossible in the beginning but I’m so happy that we pushed ourselves so hard because we ended up making a Movielife record that we’re freaking out about and can’t wait to share with the world,” he adds.

From the outset, you can tell why the band are excited. It’s a fresh sounding and invigorated with an urgency that makes for an electrifying listen. It’s as if The Movielife have never been away, Cities in Search of a Heart has all the raucous punk rock you could ever need. If there’s one difference, it’s that this sees the band at their most accessible. It’s a record to enjoy, forget the world and enjoy the riffs. From the thrills of lead single ‘Mercy Is Asleep At The Wheel’ to the strings of ballad ‘Pour Two Glasses’ there’s something for everyone hear.

The latter of those two tracks is bookended by two excellent tracks, ‘Sister Saint Monica’ has all the hallmarks of a mainstream punk rock anthem while ‘Lake Superior’ has the sound of a more accessible early Title Fight mixed with the hooks of Blink 182. It’s a reminder of how important The Movielife are/were in shaping the sound of modern punk rock. ‘Laugh Ourselves To Death’ combines crunchy riffs with an insatiable punk swagger while ‘Blood Moon’ is an instant classic that begs to be listened to on repeat.

The Movielife are back with a bang, oh how they were missed.

AD Rating 7.5/10

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