Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 8 – Rhythm with no metronome

Artist: Flobots
Song: Handlebars
Album: Fight with tools
Flobots somewhat buck the trend of mainstream success affecting a band’s musical authenticity. Despite achieving a fairly decent level of critical and commercial success with their first studio album in 2007, they have still managed to retain their unique sound and socially conscious lyrics. 

Flobots are an amalgamation of Rock and Hip-hop. They formed originally in 2000, but didn’t really get much mainstream success until 2007. I discovered them just before that, in around 2006. One of the cool things about the band and in particular the song ‘Handlebars’ is that the band utilizes different instruments in their music. They have both a violist and a trumpeter in the band and have managed to develop interesting ways in blending those sounds with the more standard guitar/bass guitar. The song and video tell the story of the dangers of power concentrated in the hands of a few. The song has an anti-government and anti-war message, and the haunting refrain of ‘I can ride my bike with no handlebars’ speaks to the reality of the USA going about world affairs in a reckless manner. This undercurrent runs through most of their songs in particular, my favourite ‘Stand Up’ which is an ode to personal responsibility and an exhortation to stand up for our beliefs and to always strive to do what is right. And on that note, Day 8 comes to an end.

Best lyrics:
And I can do anything with no permission
I have it all under my command

Because I can guide a missile by satellite
By satellite
By satellite

And I can hit a target through a telescope
Through a telescope
Through a telescope

And I can end the planet in a holocaust

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