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Abrasive and intense but bleakly humorous debut album from controversial Derbyshire-based sibling duo, Drenge
They may have caused somewhat of a media storm when labour MP Tom Watson name-dropped them in his resignation letter after seeing them at Glastonbury, but Drenge were already being hotly tipped by industry types and music fans alike for quite some time before that. Unsurprisingly they were less than impressed with their political association, as any true rock stars would be.
Drenge are Eoin and Rory Loveless, two brothers from the village of Castletown, Derbyshire, perhaps not the most rock and roll place to hail from but one that has inspired these two to create one of the most talked about albums of the year.
As they have already released a number of singles from their debut record and appeared on numerous festival line ups this summer (including most recently at Reading and Leeds), Drenge fans will already be familiar with much of the album but hearing them on record takes none of their intensity away.
Eoin’s lyrics are delivered with a menacing snarl but also with a certain amount of humour and sarcasm despite the dark subject matter. The album tells tales about frustrations of growing up in a village where there’s not a lot to do. The content of the album is dripping in violence and a general anger at the world. There is, however, proof that Drenge do not take themselves too seriously both with the genius title of opener ‘People in Love Make Me Feel Yuck’ and their re-working of Willie Dixon’s ‘I Just Wanna Make Love to You’ into ‘I Don’t Wanna Make Love to You’ which is a marvellous tongue-in-cheek moment.
Every song on the first half of the album finishes in less than three minutes with Rory’s relentless drum beats and Eoin’s urgent guitar riffs creating short bursts of noise. It is more, however. than just creating a racket without any memorable tunes as is proven with songs such as recent single ‘Bloodsports’.
One of the strongest tracks on the album is‘Nothing’ with its “please don’t stop until I’m reduced to nothing” lyrics painting a grim picture; musically it has elements of early Arctic Monkeys as does the excellent single ‘Dogmeat’ with its warlike drums. Although comparisons have been made to other duos such as the White Stripes and Black Keys, Drenge have an unmistakable British sound (and charm) that sets them apart from everyone else.
Anyone that has seen Drenge live will no doubt already had the chance to appreciate the eight minute masterpiece that is ‘Let’s Pretend’, and it sounds just as epic on record as it does live. The album sleeve even states ‘Let’s Pretend “Should be listened to at the highest volume you can possibly bear” you have been told.
The last track on the album, ‘Fuckabout’ is Drenge’s attempt at “slowing it down” and it works. The song is still relatively bitter in its subject matter but almost verges on ballad territory and is surprisingly tender with the closing lyrics “I don’t give a fuck about people in love/They don’t piss me off/They just make me give up” referring to the opening song and summing up the Loveless brothers despair and disdain of romance and their surroundings, just in case they hadn’t made you aware already.
People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck
I Want To Break You In Half
Face Like A Skull
I Don't Want To Make Love To You
Bye Bye Bao Bao