drenge-album-review-free-download2– THE ROADHOUSE,  MANCHESTER –

Let’s not ‘fuckabout’…Drenge totally, completely, 100 percent rule tonight. The Loveless brothers (amazing name) from Castleton tear through their debut album, imaginatively titled Drenge, with all the exuberance that youth brings at The Roadhouse, a fitting venue for their down and dirty music. The room is packed to the rafters, and with good reason; it’s so refreshing to see two kids just going at it with some drums and guitar, making a hell of a noise and knocking out brilliant songs along the way…if you’re feeling jaded about guitar music, or any kind of music really, you need a bit a Drenge in your life.

One of the support bands, Radkey are a pretty great warm up for Drenge. I don’t know much about them other than a great appearance on Jools Holland a few weeks ago where they showed up Franz Ferdinand with their energetic performance, and I’m really impressed with them tonight. Three young guys (seriously, they look about 14) from Missouri who make an unholy but always melodic punk thrash noise, tearing through songs like ‘Out Here In My Head’ at 100 miles an hour, which is always a good thing. It’s seriously good fun, and the band look like they’re having a ball in front of an entertained crowd. They’re certainly one to check out in the future, and I’m sure next time they’re in town a headline slot at somewhere like the Roadhouse won’t be out of the question,

What Drenge do isn’t revolutionary, it’s not going to win any awards for originality, but they do it with such energy and conviction, and with the tunes to back that conviction up, that it’s impossible not to like them. It takes a couple of songs for the rammed crowd to warm up, but as soon as ‘Dogmeat’ roars into life, so does the moshpit down front, and much like the band it doesn’t let up for the next 45 mins or so. The monumental guitar solo at the end of ‘Bloodsport’ is absolutely incredible, Eoin Loveless doubled over his guitar shredding heavy chords out left, right and centre, it’s a joy to behold. His voice is absolutely spot on too, not only can he make a guitar wail but he really can sing too. Rory on drums bashes the hell out of his skins like his life depends on it, and one thing I really notice is just how tight they are. This is no shambolic show, this is well drilled chaos, sounding like it could be on the brink of falling apart at any moment, but it never does – that’s pretty hard to do.

‘People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck’ is heavier than on the record, almost metal-esque in its volume and riffage, but the real highlight of the night is an epic ‘Let’s Pretend.’ At around 8 mins long, it’s everything that’s great about the band, and it’s the guitar that shines again as Eoin makes the noise that some bands make with 3 guitars, all by himself. Starting off relatively sedately, about half way through it descends into wonderful noise with Eoin screaming “Baby let’s pretend” over heavy, heavy riffs and it’s properly brilliant. ‘Face Like A Skull’ rounds things off nicely, the band and the crowd drenched in sweat as each exit – there’s no need for an encore, their work here is done. The most exciting thing about tonight’s show is the prospect of where next for the band, as I really think they can go on to do something incredibly special. For now though, we have a new guitar band to saviour, and one thing’s for sure: next year they will tear the festival circuit right up, and sweep a load of new fans up along the way. Exciting times indeed.

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