Possibly his most personal release to date, ‘Aging Frontman’ sees Vinnie Caruana stripped of distortion and pounding drum beats to deliver a collection of tracks that seek for the beauty in life.
Whilst retaining the bare bones of his previous outputs, Caruana opts for simple chords and raw emotion to drive the tracks on this effort.
Opening with sparse chords and a simple vocal hook, ‘Better’ sits on an exposed vocal performance and honest lyrics, with lines such as “The answer lies inside the books you said you read” driving the track towards its stripped back chorus. Even though the instrumentation doesn’t build too high, Caruana‘s conviction of his croon “Have I made you better?” creates a hypnotising listen.
Whilst the lyrics drive the EP, there are still melodies and riffs that shine through. ‘Alone’ crafts a post-punk style with fast vocals sitting on top of organ melodies and broken drum beats. The track itself moves between synth flourishes and swinging guitars, yet Caruana‘s gritty vocals allow it sit alongside the other cuts seamlessly.
Whilst the lyrics on offer here may be brutally honest at times, the bouncing rhythms and springing melodies of songs like ‘Dying In The Living Room’ offset the heavy lyricism. Taking a The Pixies style route, it incorporates fuzzy guitar lines and clapping percussion to create an infectious chorus.
Ending with ‘Tex, The Rock Johnson’, the record’s blueprint is re-visited with a direct and stripped back structure. Relying on a ukulele and a sweeter vocal performance than what’s followed beforehand, Caruana delivers a final rumination on his journey so far.
With many solo releases from established artists being hit-and-miss, ‘Aging Frontman’ is an essential offering for fans of Vinnie Caruana, especially those that have followed him from the beginnings of The Movielife.