Label: DFA/Astralwerks Release date: 04/05/10 Website: Band Myspace It’s taken the hipsters a while to loosen up. In years past it would be easy to imagine that a band like Free Energy would be completely ignored by the collective indie world. Bands that make unabashed classic rock are not too often embraced by the kids in skinny jeans and Animal Collective t-shirts, but Stuck On Nothing is something a little different. Unlike their Australian peers The Answer, Free Energy seem to be in the rock and roll business for the sheer fun of it, rather than just to “rawk”. Stuck On Nothing kickstarts the party with ‘Free Energy’. Yes, a song named after the band. And to top it all off, it starts with cowbell, if that doesn’t show that these boys are students of 70s party rock, then surely the Thin Lizzy guitar harmonies on ‘Dream City’ will serve as appropriate evidence. Bands are often derided for wearing their influences on their sleeves and here the influences are pretty obvious – as mentioned earlier, Thin Lizzy and Bad Company seem to be obvious reference points—but in Free Energy’s case this is in no way a negative thing. From the start, the songs seem familiar, triggering some sort of nostalgia. While the lyrics here aren’t anything groundbreaking (“bang bang pop pop/ When does the searching stop?), they function effectively on the album. These are sentiments of youth and yearning; you know, the kind of sentiments that rock and roll was founded on. Singer Paul Sprangers delivers these words well too. He doesn’t howl like most rock singers do, but his simple, sedate delivery is more interesting than an army of Robert Plant soundalikes. Songs like ‘Something in Common’ would have garnered major radio play in the 70s and deserves the same honor now (although that’ll never happen). Stuck On Nothing is a series of well written, fun songs in a genre that has stood the test of time. It’s a great debut and a great step toward reintroducing good vibes and fun music to a generation so focused on ironic detachment. Photobucket