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‘Cities in Search of a Heart’ review: The Movielife’s welcome return to LI rock scene

The Movielife's

The Movielife's "Cities in Search of a Heart" Credit: Rise

THE MOVIELIFE

“Cities in Search of a Heart”

BOTTOM LINE The roaring return of one of the Long Island scene’s best bands.

Before there was Brand New, before Taking Back Sunday and Bayside, there was The Movielife, the Merrick-based band that helped establish the Long Island rock scene at the turn of the century as the most vibrant in the country.

On “Cities in Search of a Heart” (Rise), the band’s first album since breaking up in 2003, it shows the fire is still burning. Since the split, Vinnie Caruana has led the aggressive rockers I Am the Avalanche and Brandon Reilly has led the tuneful Nightmare of You. Having them reunite in such spectacular fashion here is a thrill, with both bringing their best to the new album.

“Ghosts in the Photographs” shows the catchier end of the collaboration, though there is still plenty of guitar roar. “You’re the Cure” is on the rougher end, with Caruana sounding like he’s ready to lead another charge into the mosh pit, something “Ski Mask” also manages well.

And “Pour Two Glasses” is an acoustic ballad that takes the ache of the old days and funnels it into something pretty and poetic — the boldest example of how much The Movielife has grown.

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