Formed as a cohesive alternative organism in 2005, the FLOBOTS `good-fight’ mythology can be traced via Denver’s underground vines and creative community of the late `90s when various members enlivened each others’ gigs and creative events, setting the charge that would eventually power up the band’s contagious and rollicking rock/rap pedigree. Their rousing live show, seasoned by classically trained viola player Mackenzie Robert’s innovative playing, sparked an impressive undertow of across-the-board support (including both coasts and off-the-grid territories such as Nebraska and Utah) as the group honed its glowing activist edge with a refreshingly positive message and bristling musicianship.
The prescient “Handlebars,” currently holding down a coveted `Top request’ slot at several key radio stations as well as being the Most Added at Alternative Radio, has placed FLOBOTS among the most buzzed-about newcomers in rock and rap circles. “‘Handlebars’ was written in the same way the group kind of blossomed,” says Jonny 5. “I had a friend a few years ago who asked me if I ever tried to ride my bike with no handlebars. I hadn’t, so I tried it. Got to thinking about all the other things I could do – we could do. The song came so fast to me I actually called my mom’s answering machine to record the lyrics and make sure I got it all down. Of course it’s also about how even our best intentions are laden with some sort of opposite. We like to think that FLOBOTS are about directing that positive energy into real change.”
“Handlebars” – There are occasions when the song is brilliant and others when its pretentious. At least it sounds unique.
“Stand Up” – The lyrics are silly. This isn’t dropping knowledge–it’s dropping history and its not really interesting.
“Fight With Tools” – Not interesting or smooth. A band who wants to kick intelligent lyrics better make it sharp and smart. This is neither.
“Never Had It” – Sub-par to say the least.
“We Are Winning” – What the hell is this crap?
Flobots want to have some consciousness and spread some of their words and ideas. The problem is they aren’t as good at rapping as Eminem nor are they as good with spreading infectious choruses with brilliant ideas as Rage Against The Machine. The caveat–the world needs more music with a message and that has to be discussed. The world needs more Rage and Public Enemy to drop knowledge. Flobots have one good song–but bringing knowledge isn’t as easy when combined with words. No one is going to compare these guys with KRS-One or Chuck D. That’s lofty. Frankly, the album starts out with some interesting potential and then just falls off the cliff. Flobots sound like a bunch of guys trying way too hard.