Pop music is in a very transitional stage in its ongoing evolution, and rock n’ roll has not been exempt from the ramifications of these growing pains. While some bands are retreating into the past and abandoning the experimental ideals that led their predecessors to fame and fortune, Energy is bucking the trend and pushing into the future with a no holds barred attitude that is personified in their debut album, Rock Party. They come out guns blazing in “Rock Party,” “Fight for Your Freedom” and “This Part of Town is a No Go,” and deliver relentlessness in every song that accompanies them on the record.
Not very many bands exhibit the keen attention to detail that Energy do, and that’s precisely why songs like “We Dream the Dream,” “Cry of a Child” and “Spitfire Glory Boy” shine like the diamonds in the rough that they truly are when compared to the futile fodder dominating FM airwaves at the moment. The bass, the drums, the guitars, and the virtuoso vocal lead the way; every component, and every player, is pulling their weight in this LP, and what’s more is that we never get the impression that they’re competing for our affection. At its best, Energy operates like a well-oiled machine – lean, efficient, and a singular entity in every sense.
I think that a little more urgency in “And I’m Doing Alright” and “This Part of Town is a No Go” would have made both songs a little more effective in the big picture, but I don’t think that they interrupt the even flow of the record in the slightest. The framework of all these songs – including tracks like the obtuse “Spitfire Glory Boy” – is strong enough to be considered exceptionally provocative even when compared to the more robustly faceted material on the album. It’s not a perfect LP, but then again, it’s better than any other debut rock record I’ve reviewed this month.
The basslines are thick and even a tad more metallic than the guitar riffs are in “Cry of a Child,” “Fight for Your Freedom,” “This Part of Town is a No Go” and “Spitfire Glory Boy,” and they make me interested in the concept of Energy getting even heavier in their next album. Don’t get me wrong; a brooding work like “We Dream the Dream” wins me over any day of the week, but the grit and groove intensity of “You Are Too Good to Lose” is something that fuels a Friday night like nothing else can, and that alone makes this album a must-listen this June.
Harder rock and milder metal aficionados would be wise to closely examine Energy before considering another acquisition from their local record store this season, if for no other reason than to see what all of the fuss from critics like me has been about. They live up to the buzz surrounding their moniker in this debut, and they deserve a lot of credit for producing this stunner of a studio album that stands up with the best of them in what is truly a very competitive time for rock.