Energy Releases “Rock Party” LP

Swarthy distorted strings come sweeping through our speakers with an illustrious agility. Drums collide with the riffs they form and create a beat that is riddled with machismo. The bassline swings into the mix and gives a little bit of a cushion for the vocals to jettison into. This is “Fight for Your Freedom,” and it’s just one of eight gems that Rock Party, the debut album from the band Energy, is stocked with. Its party-starting mood is a contagious one, and for those of us who crave a full-fledged rock hurricane, it’s a hard record to top this season. 

Instrumentally, the first Energy record is textured and well-defined from a compositional point of view. Some of the songs are a little overindulgent, such as “And I’m Doing Alright,” the bold “Spitfire Glory Boy” and the glam grooving “Fight for Your Freedom,” but we never feel overwhelmed by the multilayered style of the music. For every over-the-top breakdown in this record, there’s a black and white rhythm-based rock track – like “This Part of Town is a No Go,” “This part of Town is a No Go” or the title track – to even out the playing field and make our virgin experience with the band a diversified one. 

Energy boasts a tight master mix, and I find it to be just as much of an alluring element as the music itself is here. While a lot of bands that I’ve listened to in the last few months have had the right chops to make a decent rock album, there haven’t been nearly as many who have had the slickly produced sound that this LP is brimming with. Songs like “We Dream the Dream,” “Without You Gere” and “Cry of a Child” are crisp, clean, and concert-quality, while other tracks like “Spitfire Glory Boy” and “You Are Too Good to Lose” come oozing out of our stereo with uncompromising sonic strength. 

So many acts are doing the “retro” thing right now, and to be quite frank, failing miserably at it, but not this band. Though it could be said that Energy has a style of play that is rooted in the ways of 80’s rock bands both on the metal and punk sides of the spectrum, I don’t get a throwback feel from these tracks in the slightest. “We Dream the Dream” and “Fight for Your Freedom” have got the swing of classic rock, but their high-definition tonality puts them in a completely different category than any of their less-than-erudite rival tracks cut by artists in the American underground and abroad. 

There’s plenty of ground left for these guys to cover, but overall Energy is a compelling rookie release that showcases everything that this five-piece is all about without overstating a theme in the music. I will admit that I like some of the heavier, Sabbath-esque songs on this record more than the adrenaline-laced tracks, but when heard as a complete piece, I think that all of the material here plays an integral role in introducing us to Energy and their collective dynamic as a group. I’ll be keeping an eye on them in the future for sure. 

Gwen Waggoner