thu 21/11/2019

CD: Drenge – Undertow | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Drenge – Undertow

CD: Drenge – Undertow

Noisy indie rockers acquire a more refined sound on their mature second album

Undertow: melodic hard rock sounds

Anyone expecting much the same on Drenge’s new album as from their 2013 self-titled debut may have been somewhat misled by lead track “Favourite Son”. Lively and abrasive, with pounding drums, angry guitars and yelled vocals, it certainly wouldn’t sound out of place alongside “I Wanna Break You In Half” and “Gun Crazy”. With the exception of the Ramones-esque “We Can Do What We Want”, however, this is where the adrenaline-fuelled influence of Drenge’s first album largely ends. The rest of Undertow is predominantly characterised by melodic hard rock sounds that suggest a bit too much self-consciousness.

By and large, the new tunes do still hold some menace and move things along, with “Running Wild”, “Never Awake” and “The Snake” being particularly impressive. However, there really is no need for “Have You Forgotten My Name?”, which is seemingly a homage to the Cure. Mournful vocals, swirling guitars, reverb-aided bass and an indie disco beat dominate and will really have some pining for the snotty venom of “I Don’t Want To Make Love To You”.

Second album syndrome is, of course, a well-known phenomenon in the world of rock ’n’ roll, and to some extent it does seem to have taken its toll on Undertow. While it is interesting that Drenge have introduced new ideas into their repertoire, it’s clear the band have lost some of their bite. Still, less rage also means more emotional depth and this is particularly evident on “Standing In The Cold”, a lament to the messy end of a relationship. It also has to be noted that not many people can convincingly churn out anthems of youthful frustration indefinitely – but anyone might have imagined that Drenge could have managed more than one album that mined that territory before maturing on to a more refined sound.

Less rage also means more emotional depth and this is particularly evident on “Standing In The Cold”, a lament to the messy end of a relationship

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature

★★★★★

A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway

 

Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.

 

★★★★★

This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman

 

Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.

 

Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.