March 1, 2010

Live: Free Energy @ Mississippi Studios

Despite a rather small and tame crowd Friday night at Mississippi Studios, Philly band Free Energy shredded through their anthemic rock catalogue like it was a frenzied full house. Songs like "Hope Child," "Dark Trance" and "Dream City" were administered with a two-guitar attack, pounding drums and bass, and a few fist pumps and hip shaking from lanky lead singer Paul Sprangers. The formula is simple for Free Energy: it's big guitar riffs, sing-along choruses, wild arena-rock solos and the occasional cowbell. Their influences are as clear as day: from Thin Lizzy to Sweet and singer Sprangers doing his best amphetamine hopped-up Mick Jagger impression. But the sound is fresh. Maybe it's the band's own doing or producer James Murphy's, but Free Energy's songs are decidedly more clear and dancey than the typical 70s rock classic. Their sound in many ways is minimalistic: sure, the bass is always bouncing, the guitars are loud and distorted, but there's never an overflow of noise or a long or gratuitous melody—it's pop music at its heart and it always gets right to the point. That was especially evident in "Bang Pop" and "Something In Common"—perhaps the band's two best songs—as musicians and audience members alike got lost in an addictive sea of roaring pop and funk—all for the greater good of throwing a few back and having a good time. (photo by Ryan Muir)

Free Energy - "Something In Common" (from Free Energy EP)

Free Energy

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