January 15, 2013 - Free People
This review originally appeared in AP 295.
The term “party rock” has been ruined by LMFAO, who sure as shit never get played at our parties and definitely do not rock. Free Energy, on the other hand, might as well be the house band for any backyard get-together you’re looking to throw. On Love Sign, they make dual guitar leads, cowbell-laden drum tracks, handclaps and “whoa-oh” sing-alongs seem effortless, like some weird hybrid of Dinosaur Jr. and the Cars, with a healthy amount of ’70s-rock swagger. This isn’t ironic genre reappropriation; instead, it’s full-fledged appreciation of rock’s forefathers and a concerted effort to have fun. While James Murphy’s production skills are missing this time (the LCD Soundsystem braintrust’s steady hand made 2010’s Stuck On Nothing beam), the songs themselves are still strong (minus “True Love,” an unfortunate detour into Passion Pit territory). Otherwise, Love Sign is destined to be the official soundtrack of Jam City, USA.