They say if it’s too loud you’re too old. Well, my friends, Drenge is way, way too loud…in the best possible way. Just in case you missed the band’s endorsement from UK politician Tom Watson following his resignation last July, don’t fret; Mr. Watson told us in his resignation letter to “be that great Labour leader that you can be, but try to have a real life too. And if you want to see an awesome band, I recommend Drenge.” These two “awesome” brothers play the loudest, most soul shaking rock’n roll I’ve ever heard live (and I’ve experienced rock and rap shows in a photo pit no less than 4 feet away from the subwoofers).
Top Emerging Artists – Drenge
Eoin and Rory Loveless, 21 and 20 years old, respectively, hail from Castleson, Derbyshire, and they couldn’t look any less threatening with their fresh-faced, hipster appeal. If I had seen a photo of these two before I listening to their self-titled album, I might have assumed I was listening to something along the lines of Disclosure, or some other young EDM phenomenon. But lo and behold, the opening feedback of “People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck” gave me an infectious smile that lasted from each bluesy-grunge tune to the next.
“Bloodsports” and “Backwaters,” Drenge’s newest singles off of their first and only album, are heavy-hitting rock classics with refrains that make you want to do anything but stand still. Eoin’s hard-rock Billy Idol vocals are interestingly complimented by his Andrew Stockdale guitarmanship. Other tracks like the album closer, “Fuckabout,” give you the idea that the brothers had a softer music side growing up, and it likely consisted of a lot of Weezer. However, lyrics like “I don’t give a fuck about people in love / They don’t piss me off / They just make me give up,” keep the band’s dark side prominent in even the slowest of their tunes.
I had the opportunity to check Drenge out at Mercury Lounge in New York City a few weeks back. When I tell you that these brothers are the loudest show I’ve seen to date, I mean that my ears are still ringing weeks later. The duo recreate their album perfectly live. Rory plays drums like animal from the Muppets, while Eoin demolishes your eardrums with his special brand of bluesy overdrive. They were incredibly tight, which you might expect from a duo, but the brotherly connection gave them a special edge I’d never seen live before.
At one point, I was so inundated with the cacophony of sound that I slipped into a zen-like state. Their distorted landscape was perfectly controlled noise….the kind of music a parent hears as an utterly obnoxious din, but a teenager (or hard rock aficionado) hears as a beautiful orchestra. If you wish The Black Keys were just a little harder for your taste, or you’re a huge fan of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, check out these young brothers. After all, the band is Tom Watson approved.
Don’t miss Drenge when they come to your town!