Drenge - Drenge

The young duo have blended the intoxicating fury of Mclusky with the driving haze of Queens of the Stone Age.

Label: Infectious

Rating: 8

It’s midway through 2013 and the year releases one of its most compelling and engaging albums in a fit of disinterest and revulsion. Drenge’s self titled debut could be remembered as one of the high points of British rock music, it’s just that good. The young duo of brothers Loveless have blended the intoxicating fury of Mclusky with the driving haze of Queens of the Stone Age in a take-no-prisoners reworking of The White Stripes’ one drummer, one guitarist approach.

Part of the genius within Drenge is the seemingly-naïve lyrics, painting vivid and dense images. With a straightforward, detached, delivery, they steer clear of angst, instead providing songs like opener ‘People in Love Make Me Feel Yuck’ with a strange fatalistic honesty. The fury of Eoin Loveless’ straining vocals merges with his wall of sound guitar playing and Rory’s superhuman drumming throughout without ever needing to repeat an idea. It’s a potent mix and at no point in the 11 high-intensity tracks does it make for any less than a completely intoxicating experience (this is ignoring final track ‘Fuckabout’ which goes a long way to justifying its name). For a band so young, (22 and 19) it’s rewarding to see a couple of excellent singles in ‘Bloodsports’ and ‘Backwaters’ sit so comfortably on the album, but the record holds delights even beyond these. From the ferocious trashing of ‘I Wanna Break You In Half’ to the woozier, impeccably remote ‘Face like a Skull’ and right into the bluesy White Stripes-ish stomp of ‘Nothing’, Drenge don’t once disappoint on any count. Each song relinquishes at least one pithy, relatable soundbite, without ever needing to artificially create a showpiece of any element. Take your pick from; ‘The only faces that I pull are the faces of a skull’, ‘I’ve never seen such beauty so maligned’, ‘Till you’re bored, or something, please don’t stop till I’m reduced to nothing’.

If anyone was to sit and count the ways Drenge’s debut is a brilliant and enduring surprise then they’d probably be sat there longer than the album even lasts. Nevertheless one thing really resonates though – moreso than any other album this year Drenge have absolutely nailed a whole angle of the human condition. From Savages’ raw anger to Kanye West’s high-art expose of celebrity, it’s in Drenge’s arsenal that we find the most complete and assertive emotion of all those, a smirking, sometimes wincing, disgust. A raw and multi-faceted deep seated loathing that drives unstoppable drumming, monolithic guitar riffs and inch perfect lyrics like an irresistible force, sweeping all before it. An indoctrination, a plague, a virus, or all three. It’s all teeth, blood and bones, spit, grease and sweat but it’s a snarling yet intelligent beast of an album that stalks the landscape of British music like the unstoppable monster it threatens, and with a certain bloodlust, deserves to be.