Foreign Born, Free Energy & Clovers played Mercury Lounge & Knitting Factory (pics)
by Gabi Porter
I had no idea that Foreign Born was composed of several of the same members as Fool’s Gold. That’s what I get for not doing my homework. Lewis Pesacov brings his trademark African-inflected guitar sound to both bands to different effect. While Fool’s Gold sounds like a complex mishmash of many seminal African bands, Foreign Born is more subtle with those influences and oddly less foreign. Fool’s Gold sounds like a vacation in far off (warm) places, while Foreign Born sound like the best backyard party you’ll ever go to in more temperate climates. And frontman Matt Popieluch sounds like a blond and bearded Lou Reed.
Free Energy play music with the same energy as a happy dog with his head hanging out of a car window in the summer time. I think they get a lot of flack for being too X and not enough Y (which are different things depending on who you talk to), I’ve heard from some that they sound like someone’s little brother’s band playing REO Speedwagon covers at a basement party in high school, and I’ve heard from others that they are the best live band to hit this year. And both are true. The best thing about Free Energy is their complete lack of pretension, their simple glam rock influenced hooks and just how infectiously happy they are to get up on stage and play.
Clovers sound a little bit surf rock, a little bit punk, sort of like a John Hughes soundtrack played by a combo of Roy Orbison and Echo and the Bunnymen, with Dick Dale’s son noodling in the background.