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“Our mate threw up everywhere in the van getting down here, yet he claims he never gets hangovers…,” Eoin Loveless says, welcoming me into Leicester’s O2 Academy. Later that night, the boys dedicate ‘I Want to Break You In Half’ to the poor guy. The Loveless brothers are chilled out and softly spoken, a world away from their music as Drenge. Words like ‘bratty’, ‘crude’ and ‘aggressive’ have been slung their way over the time span of releasing two albums. The band name itself translates into ‘boys’ in Danish. Though Eoin reassures that he and Rory aren’t at all laddish. “I just think that the people that go out on stage and play the music, and where the music comes from aren't the people who have to travel to the gig and have to set up... There's a bit of a personality change that happens just before a show. You have to become a different person.” Since their debut, Drenge have become anarchic pioneers for British teens, all snarling vocals and gnarly riffs, the phonics of their name are bought to life. Stomping through firecrackers of tracks, they become more battered and bruised. Drenge were pissed off as a frenzied duo stuck in the small Midlands town. Fan favourite ‘People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck’ from 2013’s self-titled album, falls short of two minutes, but kicked its way into become an alternative clubnight favourite. “I was a teenager when I wrote all of those songs (on the first album). I was super frustrated. I remember sitting in primary school, aged eight or nine, and the teacher said, ‘You're going to school, then you'll go to big school for three years, then you've go t to choose your GCSEs, then you choose your A Levels, then you go to university.’ It was already set out for us at a very young age. “I feel as if we're a huge herd of buffalos running off of a cliff by getting degrees and stuff in a very difficult economic climate. There's not a lot of jobs going around, for whatever reason. I got to this point where I was like whatever system was put in place to give kids an education and advance their future, combined with the increasing of student fees and cutting of grants has created something nasty. So the first album was that.” Fast forward a couple of years and Drenge had acquired a bassist in the shape of their childhood friend Rob Graham to work on the follow up. Staying close to their middle-finger-up attitude, Undertow is more observational and built around fiction. It’s thicker, orchestrated, and almost cinematic. Eoin thinks for a moment, finger on forehead. What if Drenge were a movie? “I know who I wouldn't want to direct it!” he looks right at me. “The guy who directed The Revenant.” “It's tough viewing, so tough! I think I'd like Ken Russell to direct it. He's not alive any more but it's hypothetical isn't it?” “The plot of ‘Undertow’ is like a getaway. It's the CD I want bank robbers to have on when they're doing their getaway in the cars. You know at the start of Drive? When he's just waiting for the guy in the car. It would be like Ken Russell's version of Drive. The vibe would be all Derbyshire and the woodland, over LA in neon.” Having written basslines into the live versions of their back catalogue, their latest material glugs with it. Rubbery bass cements an extra monstrosity to spitting vocals and grimy crunches. Single ‘We Can Do What We Want’ cites Bonnie and Clyde as the fast-paced track runs with exhilaration and foot-stomping carelessness. Whilst ‘Undertow’ and ‘Side by Side’ slink with grubby garage glam. Heavy guitars and controlled growls endear mystery in intensity. They play with hypnotic psychedelia (‘Running Wild’) and groove (‘The Snake’). Their second album flirts with pop.
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