Vinnie Caruana Needs a Sedative

Posted by Greg on Feb 26, 2013 in Music |

Someone tell me whose idea it was to give this guy the chance to create a solo record. Good grief. City By The Sea is Vinnie Caruana’s debut solo effort and if these are the best six songs he can muster, then quite frankly, maybe I Am the Avalanche was a better career choice. The EP does have its charms. Album closer “Kingwood” has a jaunty organ, “Boy, You’re in Heaven” is string-laden, while “City By The Sea” has some luminescent piano work. For those that like singalongs, there’s a couple of those too.

Thematically and lyrically, there aren’t that many flaws. Sure, he’s a bit too focused on his own mortality and seems a bit too anxious and apprehensive about the world around him, but it is that kind of self-awareness and self-introspection that gives the EP its life. The real problem with City by The Sea is Caruana himself. As a vocalist, he can’t help but scream out every single word. Sure he’s a punk-rocker at heart and he’s tense by nature, but Lord love a duck, the man could use a sedative. Anyone who enjoys raspy, angst-fueled acoustic punk will relish in each of the six songs.

The final and probably most important issue with City By The Sea is that the disc feels rushed, raw and subpar. That is to say, if this project had gone under the title “Anonymous Subway Busker,” there’s little reason to think few if any would be surprised. In closing, all that’s left to write is this: Caruana knows his limitations and never overcompensates. For that he should be commended. But City By The Sea had a chance to be something truly great. Instead it falls far too short.


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