Music
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Flobots

The Circle in the Square

(Shanachie; US: 28 Aug 2012; UK: 28 Aug 2012)

It has always been a source of confusion, and some irritation if I’m honest, that Flobots have failed to attract a larger audience or wider critical acclaim. They follow in the lineage of bands like Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprosy, Rage Against the Machine, and Consolidated (to name but three) with their mix of rap, rock, and politics. The Circle in the Square builds on the Flobots’ catalogue. The sound doesn’t change, necessarily, but on tracks such as “Run (Run Run Run)” (with its refrain “Run run run / The revolution has began”), “Wrestling Israel”, and “Journey After (War Fatigues)”, it’s clear their fire burns as brightly as it has always done.


Like the three bands I mentioned at the top of this review, Flobots’ politics have never seemed to be rammed down the listener’s throats. Rather, it is the music that first grabs you—melodic, rhythmic, and powerful—and then the vocals—a great half-sung, half-rapped mix. A track such as “Loneliness”, with its violins, drums, bass and gentle vocal delivery, highlights the dexterity of Flobots. Flobots’ message and music deserve a bigger audience. Flobots are a continually excellent and relevant band that actually stand for something.

Rating:

Founder of the Birmingham Popular Music Archive and Exec Producer of the documentary Made in Birmingham: Reggae Punk Bhangra (you may discern a common theme here!) I get way more pleasure than is acceptable from uncovering obscure facts and stories about music from my home city. The sight of some long forgotten band performing on stage, captured in a crappy in 1970's photo, is likely to send me over the edge! In my spare time, I work with some fellow popular music and radio fanatics in the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research at Birmingham City University in the UK.


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Flobots - The Circle in the Square
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