When GIGsoup reviewed Drenge’s self-titled debut back in 2013 we had concerns that the sound brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless had created may not develop for any future releases, and that maybe (dare we say it) they could end up being somewhat of a one-trick-pony. Hindsight however is a wonderful thing as thankfully that original sound remains for sophomore album ‘Undertow’; and you barely get through 30 seconds of this follow-up LP before you remember exactly why the debut turned so many heads upon its release.
Album number two continues where the first left off. The band (now a 3-piece) maintain the thrashing guitars, pounding drums and enraged vocals. However, it’s obvious from the off-set that the song-writing is stronger than that of its predecessor. ‘Running Wild’, ’The Woods’ and ‘Have You Forgotten My Name?’ are all showcase tracks and highlight a band not only able to write dark and brooding music but to do so with an ability to incorporate catchy chorus’s and quite glorious hooks.
Bizarrely though it’s an instrumental that steals the show. Title track ‘Undertow’ is to Drenge what ‘Fucking in the Bushes’ was to Oasis’s ‘Standing on the Shoulder of Giants’. This two and a half minute track fizzes with remorseless instrumentation and has a swagger all of its own; it simply refuses to back down at any point and its end is simply the prompt to hit repeat.
This album should be the marker for all up and coming rock bands. More importantly though it shows that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel to produce an impressive follow-up LP. Drenge have simply done things their own way and, in the process, have created a beast of an album. More importantly, they’ve created a modern day masterpiece.
‘Undertow’ is out now on Infectious Music UK.
The Full track-listing for ‘Undertow’ is as follows…