Flobots – Fight With Tools – music review

Artist: Flobots
Title: Fight With Tools
Label: Universal
Rating: 3/10

Corporate line:
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.”

The hits:
“Handlebars” – There are occasions when the song is brilliant and others when its pretentious. At least it sounds unique.

The rest:
“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.


  1. Flobots is an awesome group. You haven’t got any fucking idea about what you are talking about.

  2. Rofl, the point of the beginning of handle bars was to show how immature governments tend to be along with anyone with any sort of political power. Maybe you just look at all the words wrong and don’t know how to interpret art. That was the worst song on the album by the way.

  3. Wow, it’s really sad that you weren’t able to open your mind enough to let this in. I think you would really enjoy it, had you given it a chance. Fight With Tools is a great piece of work done by talented musicians who are really out there to spread a message with their music. The beats are rockin and the rythyms are funky. Jonny 5 & Brer Rabbit spread awareness through fabulous flows.

    F – L – O – (no W) – B – O – T – S YES!

  4. RATM and Eminem are, in a word, great. but where the hell are they? where? The Flobots is part of a movement that’s happening now. They actually speak to their audience…give people hope that they have power. it’s laughable that you say they’re trying too hard, b/c when they’re onstage, they are organic and effortless.

    i saw the Flobots in Brooklyn this past CMJ music festival. i didn’t know who they were and what they were about, and to be honest, nobody else did in that place. The Flobots got a bunch of rowdy college students to shut the hell up, listen and be moved. that place was buzzing with electricity after their set, including me. and believe me, no one gets my lazy ass up to dance and move like they did.

    Universal Republic picked them up and re-released “Fight With Tools” in it’s original form. they didn’t ask them to re-mix or re-record…they released it just as it was…raw, organic and moving. like it or not, as great as Rage or Eminem are…they’re not around right now. and we need the Flobots. we just do.

  5. You’re by far the worst reviewer I have ever seen! Looks like you don’t know what music is. There are way better artists than 50cent and Soulja Boy in the world … Flobots is one of them … and their music is awesome.

  6. Just started listening to the flobots and I love em. their style is new and it means something, to compare em to eminem is just dumb. fight with tools is great album. everysong on it means something. hope they keep it coming with albums like this one. finally something good to listen to dat means something.

  7. It’s basically hip hop for people who, by and large, aren’t really fans of hip hop. A lot of the dumb posts on this page essentially show that, with people who are unaware about eminem’s strengths as an MC and would rather judge his entire career based off a sliver of what they’ve seen in passing. Apparently if you’re not a fan of flobots, you just didn’t open yourself up to the album. That’s the type of rhetoric that you can’t argue, no matter how invalid it is.

  8. Wow your a fucktard, eminems rapping sucks ass…he has produced some good stuff and has been charitable, but dont compare shit to roses. First of all you couldnt rap at all, so how can you judge ones rap against anothers. You prolly look at a lyric page and go “eminem has 36 lines of lyrics and flobots has 32….eminem is better”….dumbass

    Well I got my 7am laugh for the day.

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