Embrace the status quo

1274102-2740065000_sm_1400791019_sm_14007910191
The Spectrum

Grade: B-

Flobots founders Jonny 5 and Brer Rabbit have composed another lyrical symposium for listeners' enjoyment: Survival Story.
Since their debut hit "Handlebars" crashed the airwaves in 2007, the Flobots sixsome has garnered much attention and popularity. The arrival of the new album brings new and uncharted issues to tackle. Jonny and Brer have taken different lyrical approaches throughout the group's tenure; however, Survival Story's lyrics remain very status quo.
Enlisting the help of Tim Mcllrath, lead singer of Rise Against, the Flobots have brought the energy up a notch in their first single, "White Flag Warrior." Tim's gravelly voice gives a thicker texture to the monotonous rap style of Jonny and Brer. Sadly, this type of venturing beyond the comfortable doesn't occur enough in the album and is too linear.
"Defend Atlantis" sets the tone for the album. As the album cover suggests, our surroundings apparently occur in ‘The Day After Tomorrow."
Although topics covering government policy surely reign supreme, Jonny and Brer's lyricism and chemistry collide interestingly on the track "Whip$ and Chain$". A comment on vanity, they remind listeners that in today's society, "It's not who you are, but who you wear this day."
"Good Soldier" is a nice melodic stray from what Flobots fans have come to expect. Mackenzie Roberts's voice and musical talent really shine through. Although in past albums she's remained very much in the background, it's nice to hear her featured more prominently.
Where this album misses the mark is in its lack of overall adventurousness and risk-taking. There simply aren't as many great choruses and catchy licks as in Fight With Tools.
Instead of a triumphant return, the Flobots have managed to put out an album that's simply sub-par. Instead of a thriving music career, they seem to just be telling a Survival Story.

E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com