stuck on nothing

so i’ve gone two days without blogging – for that my sincerest apologies. trying to juggle a job, domesticity and movie-going, not to mention various internet guises, ain’t always easy. onwards and upwards though.

last time i blogged a dfa press release (for q&a’s excellent tumbling cubes/trap door) it became one of my favourite releases of the year. if the artwork for this album by free energy is anything to go by, we should be in for a treat.

Good music emancipates the listener. Boring jobs, troubled relationships, rush hour traffic… such mundane prisons are no match for the liberating power of a fantastic pop song. Think of ‘Stuck On Nothing’ as one giant stack of “Get Out Of Jail Free” cards.

Propelled by cowbell and carbonated guitars, Free Energy’s eponymous theme song—and debut single—finds front man Paul Spranger declaring “We’re gonna start a new life, and see how it goes.” Which is exactly what Paul and his songwriting foil, Scott Wells, did when they left St. Paul, MN for new digs in Philadelphia.

Free Energy marks a leap forward from their previous band, indie combo Hockey Night. “Hockey Night was not as focused, a little more reserved,” says the vocalist. By way of contrast, the driving pulse of Free Energy’s ‘Bang Pop’ could jump start a stalled semi-truck, and ‘Bad Stuff’ juxtaposes vapor trail guitars with nimble riffs that rival Thin Lizzy. Snippets of glam, power pop, bubblegum and arena rock all filter into the mix.

‘Stuck On Nothing’ is not music for the arms-folded set holding up the back wall. “With Free Energy, the first thing we do is make sure the drums sound awesome,” explains Sprangers. “Then we build on top of that, so everything is solid, well thought out, and distilled to its essence.” The vocals are always audible and up front. Free Energy make singing along just as easy as stamping your feet and clapping in time. “There’s a lot of optimism and positivity in the music, lyrics and imagery,” the singer concedes. Do not resist the exuberance. You can’t stop the children of the revolution.

stuck on nothing is out now digitally and cd and vinyl releases follow in april and may respectively.


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