It's been a good year for Rich Robinson. The former Black Crowes guitarist and founding member has seen expanded reissues of his solo albums and two Record Store Day exclusives. Now comes his latest studio album, Flux, an album that features sounds that should be familiar to longtime Black Crowes fans, but one in which Robinson also stretches out musically.
The album opens with "The Upstairs Land," a track that evokes the Rolling Stones with its heavy groove and hard rocking choruses. The song briefly veers into psychedelic territory during its solo, with Robinson providing tasteful lead guitar. "Shipwreck" showcases a slinky guitar riff with a bit of funk and strong drumming from Joe Magistro. One could easily hear this song on a Black Crowes release.
Robinson takes a southern rock turn on "Music That Will Lift Me." Charlie Starr joins Robinson on guitar and the duo offers a slew of country-inspired licks. Robinson gives a strong vocal performance on "Life," a bit of trippy folk that veers off into many directions musically and showcases Magistro's potent drumming.
The band locks into a sinister, swamp-like groove on "Ides Of Nowhere," a heavy song both musically and lyrically. Robinson shines on guitar on this standout track. Robinson gives a heartfelt vocal on the slow-burning country of "Time To Leave" while he handles all instruments but keyboards on the appropriately titled "Astral," a lush, dreamy track. The album closes with the mid-tempo hard rock of "Sleepwalker," a track with a hint of Led Zeppelin influence and a killer ending to a diverse record.
With Flux, Robinson has crafted a fine collection of 13 songs. The album is a strong mix of Black Crowes-styled rockers, southern rock and psychedelic-inspired tracks. It's been a good year for Robinson indeed. Not to be missed.