Free Energy: Love Sign
In the world of indie rock where your influences account for much of your credibility, Free Energy is something of an outlier. Listening to their sophomore album, Love Sign, one might think their major influence is Weezer‘s 2002 single, “Dope Nose.” Which is to say, the album is filled with crunchy guitars, arena rock-sized riffs, and more “whoa-oh”s that you can shake a stick at.
Take opening track and lead single, “Electric Fever” for example. The track starts with some guitar noise before a “whoa-oh” breaks the chaos. A strong cowbell and guitar riff that sounds borrowed from Cheap Trick then dominates. They even break off a blazing guitar solo before the final chorus. Overall, “Electric Fever” is unequivocally fun but at the same time, it sounds very passe and a little hokey.
Part of the hokiness of Free Energy is their subject matter. The band had only one thing on their mind while making Love Sign and that is love. There is nary a song on the album that does not mention having a crush or being in love. In that sense the record reminds me of mid-2000s emo-pop. Like “Girls Want Rock” starts with a synth line and a hand clap beat before breaking into arena-rock. It is reminds me of I Am the Movie-era Motion City Soundtrack.
With all that said, there is still something about Love Sign that sticks with you. It could be the larger-than-life hooks, the double guitar solos, or the “whoa-oh”s but the album is filled with ear worms. Because of that, the album is impossible to hate even though many listeners will feel like they should.
MP3: Free Energy “Electric Singer”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! Vinyl