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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


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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