Flobots - Handlebars

Flobots are a hip-hop group out of Denver that I stumbled across earlier today. Having had the album on repeat since then, I’m impressed. (You can stream the entire albom on Last.fm.) And I’m not usually a hip-hop fan.

They’re undeniably a hip-hop group, but with a classically-trained violist and a trumpet player in the lineup, they’re a little different from what you might usually expect. This isn’t gangsta rap, or anything like that; these guys aren’t rapping about drugs, bitches, or money. They’re very progressively political; every single track on Fight With Tools, their first album, makes some mention of current events or world history, but in a refreshingly positive and optimistic way.

"Handlebars", which is getting a lot of play on alternative radio stations in the US at the moment, is a little catchier and more accessible than the rest of the album (very much single material). It’s not as immediately political, either, but only because it’s a little more subtle and creative with the lyrics than the rest of the album. They compare a child bragging about his ability to ride his bike without handlebars to world leaders bragging about military capabilities.

I love this album — and I say that as someone who’s not a fan of hip-hop, generally speaking — and I can’t recommend it enough. From what I’ve read, Flobots are a band that show what they’re really capable of when they play live, and I intend to find out for myself in they’re ever in the UK.