Free Energy

9 p.m. Wednesday, July 20. The Firebird. 2706 Olive Street.

Jul 14, 2011 at 4:00 am

Various music press outlets have touted everyone from Ted Leo to the Darkness to Kings of Leon as the saviors of rock. Free Energy is not part of most journalists' lists because the Philadelphia band's debut, Stuck on Nothing, confirms the notion that rock & roll never needed saving. The group channels Journey's triumph and T. Rex's flair with unbridled respect for the source materials — a welcome respite from those in the revivalist game who turn guitar solos into punch lines. A semi-modern twist comes courtesy of vocalist Paul Sprangers, whose approach melds Stephen Malkmus' more cocksure moments with the sing-speak of Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott. Handling its influences delicately, Free Energy has managed to mix "Don't Stop Believin'" with "Gold Soundz" and, amazingly, strip both of irony.