01 March 2014 (released)
20 May 2014
Somewhat removed from her native of Brooklyn, New York, Christina Rubino's 'Alive from the Scrapheap' presents a clinic of quintessential acoustic Americana – roots music that is charming, rustic, harmonious and brimming with insightful stories that our leading lady toiled over for a long time before finally revealing all in a way that is as entertaining for us as it is therapeutic for her.
Laden with guitar riffs and the odd harmonica dotting the I's and crossing the T's, this album offers skeletal compositions emphasising the importance of the song-writing. Story telling is paramount and is never overshadowed by a complexity of instrumental components. This being said, the harmonies are never in danger of neglect as they elegantly fortify Rubino's melodiously anecdotal approach.
Noticeably, though the songs are guitar-led and very bucolic, the album manages to maintain a good pace, never deteriorating into cradlesong. There is a palatable verve; not an aggressive one but one of defiance and empowerment as the album implores its listeners to 'Breakout' or not to let adversity dictate your demeanour courtesy of the spunky 'Stix n' Stones' and the poignant 'Tidal'.
Serendipitously punctuating the inherent gumption on show, Rubino has a voice a lot like Linda Perry, formerly of the 4 Non Blondes, and she is an accomplished lyricist who effectively previews her flair for narrative song-writing throughout 'Alive from the Scrapheap'. Her words are empathetic, sympathetic and inspirational all at once, ensuring the listener that we have all gone through tough times but there is always eventually light at the end of every tunnel.
This debut album is a whirlwind of emotional moments and experiences that have inflicted a psychological debt upon the artist. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and 'Alive from the Scrapheap' is testament to the adage. Porch music fundamentally, but porch music for a high quality, woodstained porch we'd all happily kick our feet up on most likely.