Review #74: Drenge – Undertow

Artist – Drenge
Album – Undertow (2015)

Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/7eyAZD1dlFAJKkxGtofRST

Drenge are a post-grunge duo from Castleton, UK. taking after many duos at the minute (Royal Blood, Black Keys, Slaves) Drenge feature simply Eoin Loveless – guitar/vocals and Rory Loveless – drums. Drenge interestingly saw a boost in success when Labour MP Tom Watson wrote in his resignation letter “be that great Labour leader that you can be, but try to have a real life too. And if you want to see an awesome band, I recommend Drenge”. The band went on to tour excessively and perform at major festivals such as Glastonbury, Latitude and Reading/Leeds, as well as tour with another top rock duo Deap Valley. Here’s their second album ‘Undertow’.

With so many duo bands popping up at the minute it seems like a bit of a fad, of which we have to dig through the trend followers to find the real thing. Drenge feel like the real thing, and the music on this album displays that. Undertow is an interestingly diverse album, the songs range from Ramones style punk with songs such as ‘We Can Do What We Want’, but then display a kind of psychedelic rock style within the rest of the album with songs like ‘Never Awake’, creating an interesting contrast in style. With only two musicians it it nice hear a full sounding album, obviously with over-dubs and recording trickery it is easy to do this on an album, but from the sounds of it they are pulling these songs off well live as well, which showcases the good duo’s from the bad. The album sounds experimental and droney at times, but then also rough and distorted when that aggressive punk style comes through.

Undertow is a great album, contrasting and often rough & tough in tone. I don’t particularly think it has the kind of hits which have made Royal Blood and Deap Valley so popular lately, but the songs and album as a whole is very well written.

7/10

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