Drenge are from Castleton in the Peak District. Strangely i’ve actually been there. A friend of mine once decided we would shake the city smoke, long working hours, repetitive weekends and go off and do some “serious walking”, as she put it. It was lovely. “Very green” was one of my first impressions and the sort of place that made me a little light headed, due to the beautiful clean air. It was a picture postcard village. Everyone you passed smiled or gave you a nod and a “good morning”. Every pub had a roaring fire and the views were quite stunning. “It’s the sort of place you’d bring children up” she said.
Now scrap the picture i’ve just drawn for you. Drenge are as far removed from fell running, long walks finishing with a Sunday lunch and a quick local ale as you could get.
The self titled album from the brothers Loveless is a lesson in rock and roll. It is edgy and absolutely exhilarating.
To be fair the clues were there. Both “Bloodsports” and the amazing “Backwaters” gave you the feeling the remainder of the debut album wouldn’t disappoint. And it doesn’t. The album, at times, leaves you quite exhausted. It’s breathless stuff. It’s relentless rock that just seems to gain momentum throughout. Current single “Face Like a Skull” is stunning rock, while “Nothing” contains the sort sort of hypnotic guitars riffs most bands could only dream of. This is well written, well executed music. It is also so well produced that you feel you’re hearing it being played live in your front room.
Only with “Fuckabout” do you get a chance for a sit down and well deserved cup of tea. However, even this has an edge to it. It’s an anti-love song that works beautifully as an encore to the main act.
There will obviously be comparisons made with the White Stripes and that early Detroit garage-rock revival but this is in no way a negative thing. Drenge have taken that format, tweaked it and almost given it a very British feel. Lyrical it could almost give a Steven Patrick Morrissey a run for his money … “When i put the kettle on, you put heavy metal on”.
I’d usually write a brief summary about now. I’m not going to do that. Instead i’m going to put the album on again. I think that’s all that needs to be said.
The full track listing for “Drenge” is…
- People in Love Make Me Feel Yuck
- I Want to Break You in Half
- Gun Crazy
- Face Like a Skull
- I Don’t Want to Make Love to You
- Bye Bye Bao Bao
- Let’s Pretend
Download: Face Like a Skull, Backwaters, Let’s Pretend and Fuckabout
Rating: 5 out of 5