Release Date: Aug 28, 2012
Record label: Shanachie Records
Genre(s): Rap, Alternative Rap
It has always been a source of confusion, and some irritation if I’m honest, that Flobots have failed to attract a larger audience or wider critical acclaim. They follow in the lineage of bands like Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprosy, Rage Against the Machine, and Consolidated (to name but three) with their mix of rap, rock, and politics. The Circle in the Square builds on the Flobots’ catalogue.
Returning at a time when America feels at its most divided, Flobots face dark times with positivity on their third album, The Circle in the Square. Announced on the day the Occupy Wall Street movement began and released during an election year, the album comes at a time that finds the country dividing itself along political, socioeconomic, and spiritual lines, but rather than head into the fray with vitriol, it feels as if Flobots are making a conscious effort to remain calm, enlightening listeners to the things happening around them without necessarily trying to incite them to get angry about it, even speaking out against violence on "On Loss and Having. " That message gets expanded upon on "Gonna Be Free," where the message seems to be about using our collective voices to come together and build things rather than tear them apart.
It’s easy to look at a band with a jaundiced eye when they discuss a new record. The natural inclination is to wax poetic about their growth and how they reached a new apex that wasn’t possible with their last effort. In the case of Flobots and their new album, The Circle in the Square, those platitudes actually hold true. “It’s by far and away our favorite record,” bassist Jesse Walker said in a recent interview.