DRENGE have released their third album, STRANGE CREATURES, produced by long-time collaborator Ross Orton [Arctic Monkeys, M.I.A, The Fall]. The follow up to their critically acclaimed albums DRENGE [2013] and UNDERTOW [2015] as well as their AUTONOMY EP, the album includes the singles THIS DANCE and AUTONOMY, and was recorded in Sheffield at McCall Sound earlier this year. The album was made “after months of chiselling away, ripping themes and ideas apart, and sewing them back together,” and is described by the band as “the most considered record we have ever made”.

 

Speaking about the new album, the band say, “It’s a nocturnal record. A psychological horror movie on wax. Warped hallucinations from mundane observations as you move through it. Is that a school or a skyscraper on fire in the distance? Or maybe it’s just the ski village? You drive nearer, past roadside diners jammed with dancing teenagers, through Uncanny Valley, past the most unhygienic nightclub in the world. The stereo sounds like it’s going to fall apart at any moment. The car judders to a halt and all you can hear is the sound of the sea.”

 

Hailing from the English village of Castleton, brothers RORY and EOIN LOVELESS formed DRENGE [taken from the Danish word for ‘boys’] whilst in their mid-teens. Initially with Eoin on lead guitar and vocals and Rory on drums, their raw grunge-inspired blues-pop sound was cultivated from the countryside landscape and their desire to escape from it. Their self-titled debut album was released a month after they made headlines for appearing in British Labour MP Tom Watson’s resignation letter from the Shadow Cabinet. After making their American television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman, they released their second LP UNDERTOW and toured it throughout festivals and headline shows across the world, alongside playing with the likes of WOLF ALICE, THE MACCABEES and ARCTIC MONKEYS.

 

Drenge turn your anticipations upside down: they start with a climax. ‘Bonfire of the City Boys’ isn’t just an opening song filler but an anthemic explosion of rhythm: From here the album simply stacks astonishment after astonishment that propels you towards a fulfilling aural experience unlike many other records you may listen to this year.

 

Drenge purposely rip up the designs of their preceding work, they may have some anchoring within their musical influences but now they have their own unique sound and panache. ‘Strange Creatures’ is an undisputable accomplishment of an album:  It is dark and brooding: However, it is a darkness with many shades and moreover, this playful eloquence is mesmerising and full of panache: If this is a statement then start hollering “THIS IS DRENGE: GET USED TO IT”. This is a band that is going to get better and better whatever musical direction they choose to move in.

 

  • STRANGE CREATURES track listing:
  •  
  • Bonfire of The City Boys
  • This Dance
  • Autonomy
  • Teenage Love
  • Strange Creatures
  • Prom Night
  • No Flesh Road
  • Never See the Signs
  • Avalanches
  • When I Look into Your Eyes
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