What Lies Beneath
By 2009 Robin Trower established himself as a notable electric blues guitar veteran whose early-‘70s albums define a heavy, earthy Hendrix-inspired tone well respected among fellow players and admirers of technique and tone. No one plays a Fender Stratocaster with more authority. Trower’s tastefulness rarely aimed for the usual arena rock showboating, which in turn forced him under the guitar hero radar. Trower is not about big riffs but establishing a merciless vibe that can’t be pulled apart. At this late date, with his reputation firmly established, Trower can issue the albums he desires without concerns towards pleasing anyone but himself. Here, he assumes the lead vocal duties and he’s every bit the capable front man adding just the right low-key soul to “Once the Spell Is Broken” and the two-part song “As You Watch Each City Fall.” Trower’s great moodiness plays to dark, epic effect throughout. “Skin and Bone” kicks things up a notch but the man obviously prefers the slow, precise thrill of the hunt as the protruding grind of “Find a Place” makes gloriously clear.