The Circle in the Square

Revolution is in the air these days, and Denver's Flobots have plenty of songs to remind us of that. If the term "rap-rockers" brings to mind nauseating memories of Limp Bizkit, rest assured that this rap-rock outfit is a far cry from Fred Durst's frattitude. The group delivers another call to arms for protesters and progressive thinkers on this record, delivering rapid-fire lyrics over rumbling bass lines and swelling string arrangements. Cuts like "Gonna be Free" shine with anthemic choruses and slick arrangement, but other hooks come off as awkward elementary school chants instead. The monotone flows of both rappers makes it hard to differentiate between songs, though dulcet vocal contributions from viola player Mackenzie Gault and guest appearances by the girls from Paper Bird lend distinction to tunes like "Sides."

A similar lack of distinction runs throughout the album, unfortunately. While enjoyable, passionate and well-crafted, nothing here is particularly memorable, especially in relation to the ground the band has already covered. A finer point on whom the uprising is against and a deeper dose of groove would benefit this release, but it still doesn't fall short of being a good teaser for their upcoming Missoula show.

Flobots play the Top Hat Fri., Sept. 14, at 9 PM. $15/$13 advance.

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