CD Free Energy (CD 660430),
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Free Energy

  • 1. Spells Against Squares
    2. Angie Vampyre
    3. Cat People
    4. Free Energy
    5. Dawn of the Phoenix
    6. Cherry Cola
    7. Strawberry Slowdown, A
    8. Unicorn
    9. Wolves of Sunshine
    10. Welcome
    11. Tears by the Pound
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 53

  • Credits
    ProducerRed Tyger Church
    EngineerTony Cale; A.J.

    Red Tyger Church: Mike Diaz (vocals, guitar, sitar, keyboards); Mel Berlin (vocals, tambourine); Steve Coteril (guitar, harmonica); Chris Loental (bass); Sean Kehoe (drums).
    Personnel: Mike Daz (guitar, sitar); Steve Coteril (guitar, harmonica); Sean Kehoe (drums); Mel Berlin (tambourine).
    Recording information: Enharmonik Studios; Retrofit Studios, Sactown.
    Photographers: Tyrus Wilson; Curtis Franklin.
    Though this record came out in 2004, it sounds a lot like the product of a bunch of hip but rather wasted musicians who've gotten drunk on infinite listenings of some the hipper glam-tinged rock of the early '70s. Certainly Exile on Main St.-era Rolling Stones is a big touchstone, and so to a slighter extent is early-'70s David Bowie, with maybe a bit of New York Dolls thrown in too. It's not quite as predictable as some of the other retro bands exploiting similar territory, though. For one thing, there are a good amount of lead and backup female vocals, something that really does help to make this kind of stuff stand out from a wolf pack dominated by pseudo-macho sneering. And, perhaps partially as a result of that female vocal influence, it's not all sub-Stonesy raunch, with moderately tuneful and tender Patti Smith and Blondie-type rock making it into the mix at times, as well as a bit of psych-garage meandering. Does it amount to much? Not really, especially since the songs don't really seem to be about much in particular, even when you can understand the (often far from distinct) words. All the same, they do exert some sullen punch, both because their cocktail has a few more things swimming in it than many such-minded bands, and also because -- again, unlike most other such acts -- they don't seem to be determined to be The Next Big Thing, content to nonchalantly slouch about being the next whatever. The too-brief outro "Tears by the Pound" is one of the closest Hunky Dory pastiches you'll hear, though. ~ Richie Unterberger

  • Critic Reviews
    Magnet (p.106) - "Glammy, hammy, sexy, silly riffarama is RTC's stock-in-trade, and at least two cuts here could've been plucked from some trove of Mott outtakes..."
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