Paul Sprangers considers himself and his Free Energy bandmates to be "weirdos."
"We're not sure if we fit in," he said during a recent phone interview.
They have a quirky sense of humor, he added. The group's bassist trolls the Internet for weird stuff and posts it on the band's blog, titled the Bad Boy Club.
"We insisted that it be part of the main Free Energy website," Sprangers said with a laugh.
But the group - which includes Sprangers and Scott Wells, formerly of Hockey Night, and Geoff Bucknam, Nicholas Shuminsky and Evan Wells - also specializes in a crazy crossbreed of '80s sounds. During that decade, Sprangers said, big rock bands incorporated dance-pop elements.
"Everything sounds very loud and clear," he said. "They used synthesizers and instruments."
And that's how Free Energy intends to get the party started Friday at York's Capitol Theatre. Fellow Philadelphia band and South by Southwest alums Cold Fronts open the show. Cold Fronts features musicians from York County and specialize in garage rock with a pop flair.
For Free Energy, Friday's concert comes between show stops in Pittsburgh and the band's home base of Philadelphia.
"It's the first time we've played that many executive shows in this state," Sprangers said.
Most of the group members are from the Midwest and migrated East after a friend showed them around Philadelphia.
"We fell in love with (it) and kind of on a whim just moved there," Sprangers said.
They were introduced into the city's psychedelic rock scene and became friends with local DJs. But even though Free Energy has a great support system in the City of Brotherly Love, Sprangers said that their music doesn't quite fit into any scene.
But that doesn't seem to matter to music critics, who praised the group's 2010 debut album "Stuck on Nothing."
Sprangers said the group's upcoming album "Love Signs" references everything from INXS and Def Leppard to Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel. It's bigger and dancier than the first album, he added.
"I think there is more confidence," Sprangers said. "I think the singing is a lot stronger."
They worked on adding more harmonies and analyzing each song's structure.
"We attack songs from all angles and pick them apart (to) make sure everything deserves to be there - every melody . . . and snare hit," he said. "It's a pretty in-depth process."
- Erin McCracken, FlipSide staff
If you go
See Free Energy 8 p.m. June 22 at the Capitol Theatre, 50 N. George St., York. Tickets are $15 and are available at the Strand box office, by phone at 717-846-1111 or online at mystrandcapitol.org. Cold Fronts, which includes members who hail from York County, will open the CapLive show.
For details about Free Energy, visit www.freeenergymusic.com.
To read an interview with Cold Fronts, visit www.flipsidepa.com/musicdirectory.
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