Nutshell Album Review: Free Energy – Love Sign
There are some bands and musicians in this world that have a special songwriting gift. This gift allows these artists to consistently write music that you simply cannot listen to without dancing. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I sincerely apologize for the hole in your life, and I also suggest you check out Free Energy. This Philadelphia quintet made a name for themselves in 2010 with their debut album Stuck on Nothing, which spurred hits like “Bang Pop”. The group is now back in action with sophomore LP Love Sign, and the indie-power pop output of the band makes them appear to be in top shape. With a handful of catchy, dancefloor rock songs and their own special blend of arena-style indie pop, Free Energy shows the music world that they deserve to grab the attention of the industry, and this LP might just be the thing they need to do so.
Love Sign opens with the album’s lead single “Electric Fever”, which erupts out of a feedback riddled and opens up into a perfect example of what this album is all about; cowbell, group chants with “ooo’s” and “ahh’s”, and the perfect amount of subtle wah pedals. At this point next year, it’s already easy to say it won’t be surprising to see this track end up on some “best of 2013” lists. Up next is “Girls Want Rock”, which brings back the group harmonies and is accented with claps and melodic keyboard riffs. The song also features the band’s notable rhythm section-dominated verses, breaking down to just drums, bass, and vocals. Good individual performances by all band members are able to combine into a really solid song that gets you into the album early on. “Dance All Night” is the next track, which slows it down and comes out sounding like a modernized version of an 80’s love ballad. This is the type of song that makes a listener realize how well a group of people can mesh together creatively. “Hey Tonight” continues that trend, with a vibe similar to that of Walk The Moon. This song is just purely Free Energy, and this is something that fans of the group were hoping to find on the new album.
The fifth song on Love Sign is “Hold You Close”, which defines cheesy and adorable songs. It is a short and upbeat track that keeps the energy flowing. After that is “Backscratcher”, which brings back the cowbell for an almost KISS-style opening. With chord-based guitar riffs, a phenomenal guitar solo and an emphasis on drums, the band once again hits the modernized arena rock sound with this one, and it’s definitely one to check out. “Hangin” has one of the best song openings heard since this site was created, and it has a solid call and response, back and forth vocal style working throughout. This track has a great groove, and it’s one of the album’s highlights. “Street Survivor” is what follows, and it brings a beach sound to the normal Free Energy aura. This song is yet another reason to geek out about the bass and drums combination that the quintet puts together so well. The album closes out with “True Love”, a song that opens with a wobbling bass and turns into a low key ballad-type song with exceptional vocals, and “Time Rolls On”, which pulls out every last thing in the band’s repertoire to close out the already-spectacular record.
Free Energy is a band you need to check out. There is not a simpler way of putting it, and if you don’t take our word, then try taking the word of Spin (calling the band ‘excellent’) or Rolling Stone (rating them one of the ‘Best New Bands of 2010’). Their unique blend of 80’s arena and anthem rock with today’s indie pop gives you the will to dance, sing, and express your love of the ‘indie’ music scene without popping lenses out of your 3D glasses. The group has their own take of today’s rock scene, and there a subtleties stemming from a wide range of musical genres. Free Energy won over a dedicated fan base with their debut, and Love Sign has the determination and content needed to push the majority over the edge. They were able to put something amazing together in proving that they’re all vastly talented musicians who can come together as a group, and who can also shoot out an album this good. Love Sign takes an outstanding 97/100, and it’ll be hitting stores on January 15th. You should buy it on January 15th.
Love Sign Tracklisting:
- Electric Fever
- Girls Want Rock
- Dance All Night
- Hey Tonight
- Hold You Close
- Street Survivor
- True Love
- Time Rolls On