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The Deli’s May CD of the Month: Stuck on Nothing - Free Energy

The Deli’s May CD of the Month: Stuck on Nothing - Free Energy

When I first listened to Free Energy’s debut album Stuck on Nothing, I was cruising around in my station wagon ingesting the joyous cassette, yes - cassette, and beating my poor speakers within an inch of their lives. I chose this setting for two reasons. Firstly, it is home to the last living tape player in my possession. Secondly, it is nearly impossible to listen to this music without desiring a wind-blown face. Their tunes are so completely purified and unself-conscious that it begins to seem as though these Bill and Ted spirited time-travelers somehow inherited all the secrets of the world and after much deliberation settled on, “Fuck it, let’s just rock ‘n roll!” They are the perfect older brother that will let you smoke his cigarettes, but won’t buy them for you before you are 18. He’d let you take sips from his tall boy while you watched him and his band perform some timeless amalgamation of good time songs filled with lots of love. The band kicks-in the album’s front door with the anthemic “Free Energy” carried by tasty dueling guitar licks and explosive drums. Paul Spranger sings with confident ease while the rhythmic dudes carry the energy of the song with just enough cowbell. The record seamlessly transitions into the mild tempered boogie “Dream City” with its beautiful hooks which highlight James Murphy’s endlessly creative and deliberate production. The snares that become handclaps and blissfully juvenile backing vocals contrasted by silky horn sections create a subtle, indefinable style present in all of their songs. The body of the album blasts through highlights like relatively downbeat, Strokes-esque “All I Know” that manages to implement a string section and bongos over their electric guitars and still keeps that effortless feel. “Psychic Lightening” pulses with good vibes equal to Nick Lowe’s Jesus Of Cool, and dare I say The Stranger era Billie Joel before they show off their musical mastery in blissfully poppy rock songs that ooze with Thin Lizzie influences such as “Light Love” and “Hope Child”. These boys certainly don’t shy away from their influences, yet they still managed to record a fully contemporary feeling album that shows creativity and progressiveness is not always about implementing the newest technology and following the newest trends, but rather utilizing the lessons of the past and making them relevant and new again. Physical copies available May 4, 2010 and released digitally on March 9, 2010.  - Adam G.


Published: May 01, 2010 |

This Emerging Artist is based in Philadelphia,
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Which of these local acts should be The Deli Philly's featured artist(s)?
Total: 89 votes
  Arch Of Love 
  Cold Soul 
  Dr. Doper 
  Matt Kelly 
  Sam Silbert 

This poll will end on August 31, 2019 at 11.59 PM ET

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