Drenge – Drenge

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Aside from that incident with MP Tom Watson praising Drenge over politics, the band have garnered a fairly small yet loyal following of fans, and their expectations of the  duo’s debut are high. The record’s overall sound promises much; the revival of the seemingly all but forgotten genre of punk, yet fused with modern influences to give it style. Some songs are hit and miss, but on the whole the album is an enjoyable and exciting taste of a band that could be one of the new British greats.

Opener ‘People in love make me feel yuck’ instantly impresses, with a riff reminiscent of Bowie’s TVC 15: that rhythmic and slick 70’s rock sound fused with gritty punk lyrics such as ‘we have no redeeming features/ just a desperate streak’ The duo has the rare ability to sound both haphazard and smooth in the same instance; bruising the ears with frantic percussion while wooing them with exciting guitar licks.

Clearly a highlight of the album is ‘Bloodsports’, one of their first singles, which Oozes style and attitude with grinding guitar riffs and menacing, seductive lyrics. The guitar solos are a delight, swinging like a bipolar chainsaw from one note to the next, culminating in a truly spectacular finale that pounds your ear drums to dust.

Another notable track is ‘Backwaters’, a furious combination of charismatic vocals and gut-wrenching drum action, with Rory throwing percussion punches left and right. A strange way to describe the song would be as if Frank Sinatra came at you with a wrench, while wearing a leather jacket and tie; suave yet almost terrifying in its fury.

That said, ‘Gun Crazy’ stands out less firmly within my memory, possibly because after several rather intense blows you become desensitised to Drenge’s full impact, possibly exposing a misstep in the album’s pacing. Furthermore, I’d argue that ‘Let’s Pretend’ is somewhat unnecessarily drawn out, with seemingly 3 minutes of very little happening towards the end, it appears unwise to attempt a long song without enough action involved. However the finisher ‘Fuckabout’ saves the last quarter: a sure favourite for gig goers with its honest lyrics and subdued guitar solos.

Drenge’s first foray into the record market is infused with tones of humour, rebelliousness and narcissism that blend together to recall the original punk years of the British 70’s. Yet Drenge primarily achieves in dragging this sound kicking and screaming into the modern-day music scene: imagine The Clash’s anarchic edge thrown together with the Arctic Monkey’s style and inclusive presence, and that’s possibly what Drenge are attempting here. Essentially this prospect, the prospect of Drenge, is ambitious and exciting.

7/10

 

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Third-year English undergraduate, dabbles in records and video-games. Can be found trying to raise money for new games and consoles, worshiping David Bowie and reading young-adult fiction unashamedly.

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