When he’s not commandeering the stage as the boisterous bassist for SoCal punks Blink-182, Tweeting wisdom to more than 1.6 million followers, or handling album production duties for bands like Motion City Soundtrack and New Found Glory, you’d think Mark Hoppus would turn down the music.
In our continuing series, Hopp on Pop, Hoppus is sharing his favorite acts, culled from his incessant pursuit of all that rocks. (Click here to discover Mark’s previous picks: Aussie expats the Temper Trap, Brooklyn keyboard punks Matt & Kim, Kiwi dance rock goddess Ladyhawke, Canadian rock duo Japandroids, and NYC popsters fun.) Check out his sixth entry below, and come back to SPIN.com every Wednesday for Mark’s latest discovery.
Formed from the ashes of indie band Hockey Night, Free Energy sprung from Philadelphia’s increasingly hot indie scene with a ’70s-tinged, Thin Lizzy-referencing sound. The band’s self-titled debut, out in January, was produced by LCD Soundsystem main man/dance music denizen James Murphy, and the quintet joins nine other hot bands on SPIN’s brand new free album, 2010: A Look Ahead, which you can download here.
WHERE HOPP HEARD THEM FIRST:
“Free Energy was introduced to me by my friend Peter at SPIN,” says Hoppus.
WHY THEY ROCK:
“First of all, I think they have the most incredible mixtape artwork on their MySpace page. It looks like a late ’70s/early ’80s workout video. It says Pump It Fitness Series and it has this muscle-y dude and jazzercise-looking ’80s chick with big hair on the cover. Nice and ridiculous. I listened to the first song on their MySpace page, and it’s just called ‘Free Energy,’ and it’s just really rad ’70s sounding fun rock’n’roll. It has lots of cowbell in it , “Thunderstruck” guitar leads, and everything sounds like it’s played on a Les Paul through a Marshall — that kind of energy. It reminds me of songs you might hear at the end of Meatballs or one of the Vacation movies. It’s kind of a throwback without being derivative.”
HOPP’S TOP TRACK:
“My top track would be ‘Free Energy.’ You can definitely apply the ‘more cowbell’ rule to that song and it definitely fits. One of the most overused clichés in the music industry is ‘more cowbell,’ but in that song it’s really used in a really catchy cool way. I think the hook of the song — ‘We are young and still alive’ — is really great.”LISTEN: Free Energy, “Free Energy”(DOWNLOAD MP3)
WATCH: Free Energy, “Free Energy”
FIND OUT MORE: myspace.com/freeenergymusic