Strands of feedback and acrylic white noise come slipping through the cracks of silence like transmissions from outer space as we descend upon “Rock Party,” the opening titular track of Energy’s debut album, which is set to be released this upcoming June.

A potent guitar riff finds its way into the fold and clears some space for a sizzling vocal to wrap around us tightly in the hooky chorus. The swaggering string dueling primes us for the pulsating percussion that will light the fuse on “This Part of Town is a No Go,” which takes a minute to warm up, but once it’s hot and ready, is uncontrollable (even by the band themselves) and ethereally heavy. A poppy groove captures our hearts in “Fight for Your Freedom,” but if you thought that Energy was going to spill all of their best stuff out in quarter one of their debut, you’d better think again. 

“We Dream the Dream” slams its fists against the invisible wall between artist and audience and shatters the barrier instantly, allowing its lush melodies to enter our airspace and color everything in a somber blue hue. “Fight for Your Freedom” gets back onto the freewheeling freedom run that the preceding content has left us off with, but it doesn’t minimize the emotive narrative of the preceding track at all. Though they get a little down and dirty in the bluesy sway of “This Part of Town is a No Go,” Energy shows off a more sensitive side in “We Dream the Dream” that, while briefly changing the mood of the album’s middle section, might be their most inspired work here. 

“You Are Too Good to Lose” plays out like a sonic smackdown in slow motion; the bass chases after the jittery guitars, with the drums refereeing the melee that ensues and continues in the much more melodic “Cry of a Child.” “Cry of a Child” feels like it was designed for the mainstream radio crowd, but it doesn’t sell us short on substance as a result.

Energy doesn’t waste our time with any pandering to the major label scouts on their first album; actually, songs like this one and the sexy “Spitfire Glory Boy” kind of flip the bird at the rock n’ roll establishment with their fusion of alternative stylization and menacing heavy metal melodies. There’s no need to copy someone else’s methods here; this band has got its way of doing business, and for my money, it’s one of the more provocative and tuneful means in or out of their insular scene. 

“Spitfire Glory Boy” discharges a blistering guitar and bass volley that will put anyone into a dizzy spell if played at a high volume, and as we conclude Rock Party, we also reach the climax of the record in the classic rock-inspired thump of “And I’m Doing Alright.” This record feels like a window into the soul of a wild animal growing into an unstoppable beast, and more than enough to justify my putting this group at the top of my hard rock watch list this year. 

Garth Thomas