Historically, every time rock ‘n’ roll has started to seem terminally stagnant some group of young musicians will power-wash away the stylistic and philosophical cruft that the genre’s accumulated, relocating its live-wire heart and giving it new life by connecting it to the core principles that it’s forgotten about. In the past, that task has fallen on punks, alt-rockers, and garage rock revivalists, and today it’s falling on a loosely affiliated community of bands that combine all the above with the kind of frills-free, gut-punch energy that’s made legends out of bands like the Stooges and AC/DC.
One of those groups is Team Spirit, founded by former Passion Pit keyboardist Ayad Al-Adhammy after an aesthetic epiphany where he ditched synthesizers for a six-string. Their Killing Time LP (out Sept. 30 on Vice/Warner Bros.) is a raging gang fight of classic rock guitar riffing and sugar-sweet pop-punk hooks with the potential to connect with van-driving, horns-throwing headbangers as deeply as it does with stage-diving punk kids. If at any point in recent memory you’ve thought to yourself, “Maybe rock really is dead,” you owe it to yourself to listen.