Vinnie Caruana was an American singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, most prominently known for fronting pop-punk band the Movielife, and post-hardcore ensemble I Am the Avalanche. Hailing from Long Island, New York, he began his songwriting career in 1997 when he joined the Movielife as frontman. His sure-fire rise to prominence with the group came after a string of successful basement shows, which eventually led to the release of their debut album, It’s Go Time, in 1999. He remained with the band for four years, appearing on 2000’s This Time Next Year and 2003’s Forty Hour Train Back to Penn. However, internal tension began to rise following a traffic accident while they were on tour in 2001; this eventually led to their break-up in late 2003.
Caruana did not sit still, and after a brief stint performing with fellow Long Island rockers Head Automatica, he went on to form the post-hardcore ensemble I Am the Avalanche. The project further showcased the sheer extent of the frontman’s songwriting ability; his lyrics and his overall sound effectively evoke angst, passion, and frustration. The band released their self-titled debut album in 2005, following up with their second release, Avalanche United, in 2011, both to widespread acclaim. Around the same time, the frontman joined the Los Angeles hardcore outfit Peace’d Out. The band released their self-titled debut EP in 2012.
The singer/songwriter returned in early 2013 with his first solo release, City by the Sea. The EP presented many of Caruana’s familiar songwriting traits, albeit within a more acoustic punk package. The following year, the musician returned to his frontman duties, releasing Wolverine with I Am the Avalanche in 2014. He revisited his punk roots in 2015 with the Movielife on a small nationwide reunion tour before playing a handful of shows in the U.K.
His first full-length solo effort, Survivor’s Guilt, on Equal Vision Records, arrived in 2016. The record marked his return to a fully-fledged band sound, as opposed to the stripped-back acoustic nature of his solo EP; an intriguing approach to his more personal songwriting. Survivor’s Guilt featured both acoustic and electronic instrumentation in equal measure, along with performances from the singer’s erstwhile collaborators, such as members of I Am the Avalanche and Steve Choi of RX Bandits. ~ Rob Wacey