I got pumped, Detroit Rock City-style, to see Free Energy last year after the Philadelphia band dropped a self-titled single—all Day-Glo riffs, Thin Lizzy hooks, perfectly bored vocals. Maybe it was the crowd (unenergetic) or me (grumpy), but the band’s Black Cat show last August was, well, kind of a bummer. On the strength of its debut full-length, I’m giving Free Energy a second shot: Produced by LCD Soundsystem leader James Murphy, the quintet’s first full-length, Stuck on Nothing, never apologizes for the lazy comparisons to the more palatable big-guitar acts of the 1970s (Cheap Trick, the Raspberries, Alice Cooper) it inevitably will invite. The band means every note, even the false ones, down to the groove and string arrangement it lifts from T. Rex’s “Mambo Sun.”
FREE ENERGY PERFORMS WITH FOREIGN BORN AND CLOVERS AT 8 P.M. AT DC9, 1940 9TH ST. NW. $12. (202) 483-5000.