Mar 312010
Authors: Ian Mahan

Before the Denver-based band Flobots consider having a guest singer appear on an album, maybe they should consider putting the handlebars and training wheels back on its bike.

Or wait for another presidential election to come around.

“Survival Story,” the follow up to the band’s 2008 breakthrough album “Fight With Tools,” might have the band scrambling for survival.

All of the lyrical creativeness that made “Fight With Tools,” a unique blend of hip-hop and alternative rock is completely drained from “Survival Story.” Musically, the band presents itself as the Flobots, but throughout the album there are times the band seems to lose itself.

On “White Flag Warrior,” featuring Tim McIlrath from Rise Against, the band implements the use of a banjo, which takes away from the overall anti-war message that the band is trying to convey simply because its annoying.

“Good Soldier” and “Superhero” bring plenty of creativeness to the table as far instrumentation goes, but once again, lyrically the Flobots seem to have nothing important to sing.

Overall “Survival Story” isn’t awful. However, it’s just not quite on the same level of the expectations created by “Fight With Tools.”

The lyrical shallowness of the album alone calls into question whether or not this Mile High City six-piece only has a political agenda or if there’s something beyond the dropping of bombs that gets these incredibly talented musicians going.

Either way, there’s no handlebar bike tricks coming from this band anytime soon.

Music reviewer Ian Mahan can be reached at

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