Album review: Drenge, Drenge (Infectious)
Album of the Week: Garage-band and grunge riffs make for raw-boned rock
There's an old maxim, variously attributed to Bono or country legend Harlan Howard, about “three chords and the truth” being the core requirements for musical impact. It's a notion underpinning successive generations of punk-infused bands, from the Pistols through Nirvana to The Libertines, and its latest exponents are hotly tipped duo Drenge, who further distil the essence down to just the guitar and drums palette employed by the likes of The White Stripes and The Black Keys.
Unlike those American bands, however, Drenge brothers Rory and Eoin Loveless exhibit virtually no overt blues influences, relying instead on the heavily distorted guitar riffs common to grunge and garage-band psychedelia.
It's there front and centre in the raw-boned, serrated rock noise of opener “People in Love Make Me Feel Yuck”, a blast of teen outsider rage swathed in splashy cymbals and couched in lateral lines like, “I broke my skin of my teeth on the steps to the church”.
“Dogmeat” is a similarly raucous snarl of dissent, the lazy swagger of its riff tempered by a martial drumbeat, while the single “Bloodsports” offers a galloping groove sketched in slippery slide-guitar chords. “Face Like a Skull” makes the Nirvana influence explicit with a progression akin to “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, albeit a rather more prosaic expression of social disconnection.
The closest the duo come to the blues is on “I Don't Want to Make Love to You”, which delivers its blunt antipathy with something of the insouciant swagger of the British beat-boom R'n'B it echoes, albeit in grunge livery. Crisp and abrupt, it's one of the best things here, the standard tending to slip as they stretch out: carpeted with distortion, “Let's Pretend” is a grim, pedestrian trudge, while the self-abasing masochist anthem “Nothing” is spoilt by the unnecessary elongation of a vocal chant coda.
But all the relentless peering into the abyss ultimately only seems to bring them full circle, concluding as they began with another song railing against people in love, the oddly tender “Fuckabout”. Perhaps they've simply spent too much time in each other's company?
Download: Bloodsports; Backwaters; I Don't Want to Make Love to You
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Game of Thrones season 5: Emilia Clarke praises characters who 'accept their femininity'
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Glastonbury 2015 tickets: How to make sure you’re successful in Sunday's re-sale
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate