On Free Energy’s “Dream City”


Free Energy, the DFA-signed, mysteriously polarizing (witness the back-to-back-to-back Brooklyn Vegan triptych of “could someone set fire to the brush under these guys feet..PLEASE?”/ “bands like this make me lose all hope for the future of music”/ “if i saw these idiots crossing the street i would run them over,” which if you’re counting, yields an actual deathwish rate of 66%) quintet from Philadelphia, have as far as we can tell done nothing wrong. They’re actually sort of sweet: “Dream City” is a charmingly unreconstructed T. Rex rip with a motivational bent–stars, streetlights, “dreamlights,” “kids across town,” dreaming like there’s nothing to scream about, marching around in love with the electric sound. It has the same ambitious disco stomp songs with these kinds of lofty aims have had at least as far back as “New York Groove,” if not, yup, “Jeepster” or “Get It On.” James Murphy apparently played guitar on the record. Some of them used to be in Hockey Night. If they ever make it video for the song it’s guaranteed to have more than a hundred people in it. It’s got a part that’s kind of like the indie-rock version of Jim Jones’s “Na Na Na,” another song that never got enough credit for being idiotic and lighthearted and aimed directly at various basic pleasure centers in the brain. Another song on their MySpace, “Dark Trance,” is pretty good too, so we’ll just go ahead and ask that everyone refrain from setting these dudes on fire or whatever until the album’s actually out.