Drenge @ Holocene
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 8:30pm
This UK duo churns out compelling punk, full of angst and youthful immediacy.
"Perhaps the last time we witnessed such a not-here-to-please approach was with Arctic Monkeys. Hailing from Castleton, 30-odd miles west of Sheffield, Drenge share the Monkeys' northern outlook, but their music is far more the product of small-town English life...You only need check the song titles – Dogmeat, Bloodsports, Gun Crazy – to see that Drenge are tapping into a festering brutality that still lurks on Britain's more isolated street corners...The Loveless brothers are adept at replicating such violence musically, in songs that are nasty, brutish and short; riffs pummelled so viciously they're barely recognisable by the time they're done with. The White Stripes and other bands centred around Detroit's garage-rock revival circa 2002 are the obvious reference point here, but the hallmarks of many a great guitar band are stamped throughout: the doomy pronouncements of Nick Cave (Dogmeat), the bicep-pumped riffing of QOTSA (Gun Crazy), even the raised eye of Pulp's Jarvis Cocker on Fuckabout. More strikingly, Drenge tap into a confusion around love and sex that harks back to the likes of the Sex Pistols and, again, the Smiths. In fact, it's their startling rejection of intimacy that lift this debut album from a decent listen to a compelling one...Listen to the ton of frustration being offloaded on this debut – the sound of rock'n'roll at its most raw and untamed – and you'd be hard pushed to imagine it failing to grab the attention of anyone." - The Guardian, 4/5 stars