“Rock Party” by Energy
Forty years. That’s how long Energy has been building a relationship as a band. And yet, when I listen to their Rock Party debut album, I don’t hear a group of musicians who have only spent a couple of holiday seasons in recent years as a family of artists. I hear a band that has found their groove and gotten in sync with each other in a way that most rock n’ roll syndicates only achieve after at least a decade of touring and collaborating in the studio together.
Aching vocals glisten against an atmospheric backdrop of melancholic guitar strings and a lumbering bassline that is as tortured as the lyrics are in “We Dream the Dream.” A tidal wave of bottom-end distortion slaps us across the face in the first couple of bars in “And I’m Doing Alright,” but the real sonic slay-fest doesn’t start until we’re at least a minute into the track. Our hearts beat in cadence with the exotic drumming forming the rhythm in “This Part of Town is a No Go,” but as powerful as these three songs are, they’re only a taste of what Energy has in store for anyone and everyone who gives their first LP a spin.
The title track, “Fight for Your Freedom,” “You Are Too Good to Lose” and “Spitfire Glory Boy” focus on the virtuosity that the band brings to the table in over half of everything that they commit to the master tape, while “Cry of a Child” is a bit simpler in structure and execution. There’s nothing conservative about Energy; in fact, the band goes out of its way to be as generous with everything as possible while avoiding the pitfalls associated with gluttonous groove-centric records. If you ask me, the duality in their sound speaks to their ambitiousness as well as their organic skillset as a unit, and in a time where so many one-note groups are ascending the Billboard charts with inexplicable ease, their strain of songwriting is poised to make a really big splash as the summer nears.
Hard, heavy, and hauntingly rhythmic from the moment that “Rock Party” starts to the second that “And I’m Doing Alright” returns into the darkness from which it was first born, Energy’s debut is just the shot of stone-free melodicism that this decade needed to finally feel rock-worthy. If this is a good representation of what we can expect out of the band as they continue to embark on their rock n’ roll odyssey once more, then I’m certain that this won’t be the last time that their fiery music is making headlines in the underground (and soon, the mainstream as well). There is no shortage of groups trying to make hard rock great again in the United States and around the world, but when it comes to playing it the way that it was always meant to be played, no one is coming close to matching what these smooth moving musicians are turning out in the studio and beyond right now.