Brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless are the sole members of Drenge, Eoin on guitar and vocals and Rory on drums. They don’t need anyone else. They blast out sweaty blues-infected rock like a band with at least three times as many members.
Their self-titled debut promises a lot of good stuff to come from these guys. “People in Love Make Me Feel Yuck” is something we’ve all felt at some point in our lives. “Dogmeat” feels like a Stooges track if the Stooges decided to put out a psychedelic rock record. “I Wanna Break You in Half” might break your speakers in half because you will crank this to twelve. Rory Loveless beats his kit during this song like it owes him money. It’s over far too soon.
“Bloodsports” doesn’t involve Jean-Claude Van Damme, but it hits as hard as he. My favorite lyric in it is “Got a pull string so I’ll learn how to sing.” It makes me wonder if the track is a skewering of the record industry. “Backwaters” is that great Flat Duo Jets B-side you keep trying to find in record store bins. Eoin Loveless sounds like he’s playing two guitars at once, which wouldn’t surprise me. “Gun Crazy” is as tight and precise as a sniper but hits like an M16 on full-auto.
“Face Like a Skull” sounds like Husker Du mixed with Sleater-Kinney vocal styling mixed with British pub fights. It could be your new favorite rock track of the summer. “I Don’t Want to Make Love to You” puts the blues classic on its head and we’re all better for it. Foghat wishes they’d recorded something this good. “Nothing” is nothing to snicker at, because it is sinister, heavy, and threatening (“Take a deep breath, get up off the ground. If I don’t see you soon, I’ll see you around.”). “Bye Bye Bao Bao” flies by at just over a minute (in which Eoin Loveless says he wants to be alone before he goes home) and right into “Let’s Pretend,” which is about a relationship that works better when both parties assume everything is fine even when both know it is not. It’s the longest song on the record and swerves in and out of psychedelic riffing, cymbal mutilations, and sad lyrics. The ender, “Fuckabout,” is about how Eoin Loveless feels like a constant strike-out at the love game and how seeing other people in love make him want to give it up altogether.
Don’t give up on this album. It’s a good debut. I’d love to see these guys tour with Jeff the Brotherhood. It’d be a great double bill of two-man brother bands.
Nik Havert is a writer, DJ at WSND 88.9FM University of Notre Dame, harmonica player, martial arts instructor, comic book publisher, crime fighter,music lover, cult movie enthusiast, and modern day Renaissance man. He hopes to shark cage dive sometime in the next few years and enjoys travel and good natural root beer. Visit his web site at http://www.picklepress.net.
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