Free Energy, ‘Stuck on Nothing’ (Astralwerks)
Abandoning the Pavement-isms of its core members’ previous band Hockey Night for what sounds like Phoenix covering classic ’70s jams, this Philly quintet is unabashedly, gleefully unoriginal. With LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy producing, every power chord, harmonized guitar solo, and cowbell gets tucked into the right period-specific sonic pocket. But through these T. Rex (“All I Know”) and Thin Lizzy (“Bad Stuff”) readymades flows a river of hard-won optimism: Free Energy’s debut captures that serendipitous moment when the past’s clouds part to reveal a future of unfathomed possibility. Call it neon rainbow rock.