Reviews Flobots No Enemies

Flobots

No Enemies

pro·test
noun
ˈprōˌtest/

A complaint, objection, or display of unwillingness usually to an idea or a course of action.

It's been 5 long years since Flobots released their 2012 effort Circle in the Square. Normally that wouldn't be such a long stretch of time, but given all that's happened within that time frame, it seems like eons since Brer Rabbit, Jonny 5 and Kenny O took their rightful place on the pulpit and preached the word of the horde.

Well, never fear because the 'bots are back and the timing is so right, with a country in such distress, they may as well be swooping in wearing capes.

What's immediately evident with opening songs "Failure Games" and "Blood in the River" is that the band has lost none of the strong activist voice that has been the foundation of their music. Songs of protest have been much more prevalent over the past year, and this is of course, a good thing - but the 'bots have been doing it longer, louder and with more commitment even during what could comparatively called America's salad days under the previous administration.
As stated in "Carousel", one of the album's many standouts, "The antidote of the in-between is to put our dreams on Layaway".

No Enemies serves as a departure of sorts. With each successive release since 2007's Fight With Tools the band has created more lush, intricate arrangements but now, in 2017, the curtain is pulled back to reveal a bare stage. A more stripped down, raw-nerve approach that serves them well, particularly given the subject matter. The core of the band remains the two MC's and drummer, and when you're making hip-hop - true, unadulterated hip-hop, do you need anything else?

Of course, that's not to say there isn't anything else. Far from it. Mackenzie Gault returns for some guest vocal and viola work and numerous tracks feature Denver's own Spirit of Grace, a group of gospel singers and 303 Choir - a community youth ensemble.

Community is typically defined in two ways:

1) A group of people living in the same area that share a common bond or characteristic with one another, or

2) A feeling of fellowship with other individuals that share common interests, ideologies or goals.

The notion of community looms large over Flobots and No Enemies. The idea of working collectively towards something, rather than individually against something is a rare thing in these divisive times. No Enemies stands as a strong resistance theory for the new world order.

8.8 / 10Kevin Fitzpatrick
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8.8 / 10

8.8 / 10

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