Image c/o Rolling Stone.
They’re one of our city’s biggest and brightest indie rock bands, and this week you get a great opportunity to catch them live for FREE. Free Energy for free. Not sure if we really need to tell you about these guys, but, let’s do it anyway.
Three years ago they made a lovely splash with a DFA-released debut produced by James Murphy. Yes, THE James Murphy. He bulked up their debut so handily that fans of classic and indie rock took notice and spun that record hard. See, what Free Energy dwell in is a place of retro and old school-stylized big rock. As mentioned in the glowing 8.1 Pitchfork review of their Stuck on Nothing, it harkens back to a simpler time; a time of feathered hair, faded denim, big gas-guzzling cars and pre-smart phone days. Think Dazed and Confused meets the earnest cheesyness of the ’80s – The Cars, Journey, Jefferson Starship, etc. There’s a shininess to their grooves and tinny guitar hooks. It’s unlike most indie rock of the 2000s.
The Fork wasn’t nearly as kind with their recently-released sophomore, Love Sign. And, yes, it’s not a duplicate or carbon copy of their debut. That is clear. It’s not with DFA anymore, it’s no longer a James Murphy project, and it doesn’t quite have the same frenetic or electrically-charged energy that they had three years ago. But musicians and men grow. This one’s a little more sophisticated, polished and, well, commercial. And that’s not always a bad thing. Times is tight; musicians gotta make a dollar. No doubt, the brothers who lead the band, Scott and Evan Wells, aren’t getting any younger. And as they mature, so does their sound. Bands are allowed to evolve. And Love Sign’s a little more mature, a little more composed and calmer. But hopefully a live show and stuff like this Free at Noon performance will be a beautiful blend of these two records – loud and bouncy but also sophisticated and tight.
Here’s their network TV debut on Letterman: