Rockin' Our Turntable: Free Energy
By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 4, 2010 10:00PM
Free Energy take their cue from the sugar glam of the '70s and throw a little post-rock NYC circa '78 on the glitter spike all day suckers they toss out to your ears. The opening salvo on their debut Stuck On Nothing, conveniently titled "Free Energy," acts as a call to arms, mapping out the bands intent, driven by an opening cowbell ushering guitar chords meant to get heads nodding. By the time the chorus hits you're ready to grab the person next to you and start jumping around the dance floor as if it was a sunlit mattress in a teenage room surrounded by pop idol posters.
The quartet from Philadelphia recorded their debut with LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy and the result is an album of impeccable touches that place it in a mental era without anchoring it in a concrete location. The horns on "Dream City" are buoyed by a chorus delivered by a chorus of "na-na-na-nas" and drums that could double as glitter specked platform boots before a soft saxophone brings us to a gentle end in a quiet cul-de-sac.
Some lyrics tackle the predictable but fun themes centered around the youth taking charge and having fun. But amidst the clap-along anthems are hidden a few surprising twists and turns. "Bad Stuff" could lyrically either be centered in a post-apocalyptic landscape or be a simple observation of present-day urban decay and the threat of lost promise.
Free Energy brings a a swagger in your step, causing your jeans to rest a little lower on your hips and a slightly lascivious smile to your lips. There's an easy going aggressiveness to Free Energy that appeals to both the boys and the girls in such a way that both groups feel like they should be swinging their sweat-soaked shirts over their heads as the band plays on. And that's alright with us.