Where their self-titled debut was a concise, quick-witted collection of destructive blues-guitar and dense drum beats, follow-up ‘Undertow’ was an expansive transition - the addition of bassist Rob Graham deepening Drenge’s sound into something all the more convincing. ‘Outside’, the lead track from ‘Autonomy’ shows that Drenge’s growing pains have ceased: it’s one of their finest songs to date.
‘Fades to Black’ is Drenge in their purest form, a melodic lead guitar paving the way for Eoin Loveless’ caustic vocal delivery: “Everything you touch fades to black”. Though ‘Autonomy’ is a quick, four-track EP, it still gives the Loveless brothers room to play around with sporadic jams and guitar solos, something they have typically explored only briefly on their previous releases. ‘Before the War Begins’ shares this same structural identity, though Eoin sounds more relaxed and at ease: “Breath in, breath out.”
By all means, this is straight up riff-rock, but with each release, Drenge add an additional element of gloom. On ‘Autonomy’, though, they hold back on the dinginess that found its way into ‘Undertow’, instead toting something that’s much more straightforward and digestible. And that digestibility only works in their favour - Drenge consistently stick to what they know, never daring to take too big of a leap. They are an incredibly dependable group, and, as their discography grows, each individual release complements itself, displaying a band who basks in their own self-certainty.