In 2010, the Philadelphia-based band Free Energy released their debut album, Stuck On Nothing. It was a ten song set of classic rock-infused jams, the sort of hook-laden stuff that promises fun is just around the corner, if not already here. Live, the quintet made good on those promises with shows of drumstick-twirling, high kicks and liberal amounts of cowbell -- all of which made them seem a bit out of place on DFA Records, the NYC dance label founded by LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, who also produced their debut. So, it's not entirely surprising that the band will release a follow up, called Love Sign, on its own Free Energy label.
Frontman Paul Sprangers says that the change is good:
“For some reason, DFA was the only label that really understood us." Spranger explains. "They got what we were trying to do, and could hear potential in our demos. We learned so much from their philosophy, and continue to apply it to this day--it was a true education. So, after having done a record with James [Murphy] and DFA -- which was a dream come true -- it felt like a good time to push ourselves further, which turned out to be making and releasing a record ourselves.”
Love Sign, (out Jan. 15) finds the band in fine, sunny-sneer, power pop form: it's a fresh, renewed sound, with a bit of DFA-disco woven through. Listen to the song "Girls Want Rock" with its hand claps and screaming guitar solos, and do as Sprangers instructs: "Turn it up."