The Energy - The Energy's First Album [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The Energy

The Energy's First Album [12-inch] (2010)

Team Science

Houston's the Energy are victims of the unfortunate coincidence of sharing a very similar name to Bridge Nine Records' Energy, which may cause some people to overlook them. Unlike that band though, the Energy's simply titled The Energy's First Album is brimming with the kind of rock 'n' roll energy you'd expect from a band with such a name. The Energy deliver a potent concoction of garage squeal & feedback, don't-give-a-shit vocals and a sense of melody that borrows from '60s girl group and psychedelic pop. The whole thing has a wonderful and natural devil-may-care attitude that can be severely lacking in today's bloated, pretentious and often histrionic rock world. I thought punk was supposed to kill all that? Maybe pretension and histrionics are like herpes--even if there aren't any symptoms, it may be lurking under the surface.

The first sound you'll hear as you throw the record on is a clock ticking, a sound which contains a simple yet delightful duality recalling the 9-5 grind as well as a ticking time bomb; the rest of "Destroy Imagination" follows as a rallying cry against the tyranny of counting the moments of the passage of time. The structure follows a simple, slightly repetitive riff-heavy structure that you'd think would get boring after five minutes, but the band knows enough to throw in subtle things to draw your attention back in, whether it be some catchy gang vocals, short flourishes of guitar lead, letting the drum and bass carry the song for a spell or the the false ending. The loser anthem "Girls Don't Like Me at All" builds on the false-ending trick to give the song a general feeling of missed beginnings.

Most garage rock/punk rests heavily on an unspoken short and fast rule. One of the Energy's best qualities is they defy that convention and have the talent to do so. Less than half of the songs on the album are under three minutes, and one nearly pushes the 10-minute mark. "Stabbing in the Dark" plays with a fast/slow dynamic, the likes of which I haven't heard in a garage tune in awhile, plodding along at a pace that turns cautious into paranoid and then rips into the band's familiar pace. The following song, "I'm Gonna Cut You Into Pieces" provides a studied contrast to the former songs' weirdness in one of the band's dumbest, repetitive rock 'n' roll songs--in the best way possible.

It is a delicious contradiction--the kind as a music listener I live for: The Energy have created an intelligent, dumb rock record. If you are a garage punk fan I urge you not to sleep on this record because these are eight of the best songs you are likely to hear come out of the genre this year, and eight of the best songs released period.