Free Energy

Lest anyone fear that DFA is forever marooned on the dance floor, the label’s latest signing is a guitar-worshiping retro-rock band. Solos unfurl in wide ribbons all over the Philly five-piece’s James Murphy-helmed Astralwerks/DFA debut, Stuck On Nothing. Cowbell even rings in the album on the opening theme song, “Free Energy.” Thin Lizzy comparisons are certainly warranted, although nods to Boston and T. Rex wouldn’t be far afield either. It’s still dance music of a sort, only without all the spongy synths and beats. That said, “Dream City” is appropriately spacey, and other tunes betray the ductile skeleton of funk or disco, despite being so couched in yesteryear’s AM rock radio. Guided by singer Paul Sprangers and guitarist Scott Wells – who did time together in the Minneapolis band Hockey Night – Free Energy boasts some of the most carefree vocals and carousing hooks since the Strokes. DOUG WALLEN

Sun., Feb. 28, 8 p.m., 2010

 
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