Album review of 'Flight With Tools' by Flobots.
Flobots are truly an interesting bunch of innovators spawned from Denver, Colorado. Most will have heard of them due to the popular single 'Handlebars' that to the astute listener could provoke thought or impress one due to the great musicianship. Live hip hop bands like The Roots or the Beastie Boys took rap music to another level and indeed Flobots are representing their interpretation with genuine musical integrity and consciousness that all good progressive music does. It's no surprise listening to 'Fight With Tools' that Flobots have opened shows for great acts such as Public Enemy and Lyrics Born because it's a great album.
When I first put 'Fight With Tools' I thought is this just another dose of student music trying to emulate emcees with quirky music but when you listen to the whole album you realise that this is quality in every sense, music and lyrics. I immediately picked up on the violist Mackenzie Roberts thinking that's an interesting sound with hip hop as I've always loved what RZA does with the Wu Tang Clan. In fact all the musicians guitarist Andy Guerrero, bassist Jesse Walker, trumpet player Joe Ferrone, and drummer Kenny Ortiz are all excellent musicians and Ferrone particularly stands out on 'Handlebars'. And lets not forget the emcees Jonny 5 and Brer Rabbit can be proud to be representing hip hop with great lyrics, strong delivery and no ego with a bit of singing too.
The best thing for me about 'Fight With Tools' is that it takes you on a journey with lots of shades and plenty of mood. It's innovative music that is uniquely Flobots and because they are a live band the album carries a lot of funk, grit and attitude. Combined with conscious lyrics it creates music that can't be ignored and shows innovation that can progress hip hop. It should appeal to lots of people and they're not selling out. An engrossing listen that should be respected.