5 Long Island Hardcore Bands That Changed My Life, by Vinnie Caruana

Constant Elevation (Photo: Michael Dubin)

Vinnie Caruana has been busy as of late. Best known as the frontman for both The Movielife and I Am the Avalanche, the singer-songwriter recently collaborated with drummer Sammy Siegler (Judge, Rival Schools) in a killer hardcore project called Constant Elevation, releasing an EP a few weeks back. A true troubadour of song, Vinnie also just dropped Aging Frontman, a 6-track solo EP showcasing his penchant for melody and introspective lyrics, all wrapped around in wide-screen production.

Speaking of the recording, Vinnie collaborated with his I Am the Avalanche cohort, Brett Romnes, who produced, engineered, and mixed the Aging Frontman sessions, along with lending his instrumental talents to the affair:

Since Vinnie is synonymous with his hometown of Long Island, No Echo asked him for a list of the hardcore bands from there that helped shape him. The stylistic variety of his picks speaks volumes for not only his personal taste, but also the importance of the region's hardcore history.


Vision of Disorder

My first show ever was a VOD show in Elmont, NY in 1991 (at least, I think it was '91). My brother grew up with these guys and to this day we are buds. But they are probably the reason I’m where I am now. After my first show, I knew this stuff was for me. I was fucking in.

Mind Over Matter

VOD was kinda operating in their own little scene in my town. There was another thing going on altogether in other towns and it took a short while for everything to come together and form what I know as Long Island hardcore. And Mind Over Matter were at the forefront of that other thing. They were far ahead of anything going on at the time. Their own brand of hardcore that still hasn’t been duplicated.


I got to see them a handful of times and [vocalist] Brian ["Zoid"] was always bleeding. Basically all of their songs are about suicide and as kids we never took that seriously. They were contenders for heaviest band on the Island at the time. Everyone found them quite endearing in their own morbid way. I fucking love Neglect.

Silent Majority 

My first time seeing Silent Majority was at the Right Track Inn on a Sunday. Probably '92. They stretched every boundary of what I thought was hardcore. The melodic, bouncy, lovely, warm, incredible music blew me away live, before I heard the cassette. The crowd would be filled with every Long Island band the world would come to know. Glassjaw, Taking Back Sunday, Brand New, The Movielife, Crime in Stereo, and all the bands from my age group, owe a lot to Silent Majority,


For about a year, Daryl was the only other kid my age going to shows. We were drawn to each other and became best buds. I was lucky enough to witness the very early Glassjaw days. I would join Daryl on stage and sing a song with him sometimes. One day after singing a song with him at a basement show, Eddie Reyes asked me to try out for a new band he was starting. That band ended up being The Movielife, and the rest is history.


Aging Frontman is out now via Know Hope Records (US) and Big Scary Monsters (Europe/UK).


Tagged: constant elevation, i am the avalanche, the movielife, vinnie caruana