Artist: RoseAnn Fino
Album: Out From Under
Label: Luna Cat
Release Date: 09/01/2015
Fino detonates her recent past (life’s unyielding barrage of romantic chokeholds, boozy flings, writer’s block, artistic brownout) to rise like a phoenix with Out From Under, a mighty 4-song EP that has one thing glaringly wrong: It’s a friggin’ EP!
2013’s eponymous debut rendered several excellent tunes (“Seventies Trousers,” “Boxed Wine,” “City Lights,” “Packed Up”). But in critical hindsight, the girl got lost in the mix amid such seasoned, well-intentioned players as John Platania, Professor Louie and Gary Burke. ’12’s Little Girl Lost, a cacophonous, self-produced, 3-song mish-mosh (though “Hallways” defies the wreckage) didn’t do anyone any favors either.
Now, after two years of scouring Bowery clubs and the dark dives of Queens and Brooklyn, busking solo or with her whip-smart Lovely Misfits, Out From Under fully liberates an unapologetic, life-wise kid carrying a badass, old school heart into battle. “The Devil Says” (“Don’t you dare make a deal with me!”) lashes out like every opening salvo should: brazen, percussive, all the player’s strengths blowing full gale. In the open wound “Night Rolls In,” she pleads in a voice needing no comparison to define, color, or categorize it, “Can you tell me what you see my friend/When you look at me,” because, “I haven’t seen myself/In quite a long time.” “Love is not first kisses,” she triumphantly (yet mournfully) comes to grips with on the conscience cleansing namesake track, laid ever more bare by Ryan Shapiro’s Roy Bittan inspired piano and Allyson Clare’s darkly shining viola. “The River Song” decisively sums up her recent revelations: “If you’re gonna love/do it without fear.” Right. And if you’re gonna make an artistic statement, do it the same way. Like this.
– Mike Jurkovic