Review: Drenge live at The Hare and Hounds – 4/6/13

Jesus Christ it feels like it’s 1995 in here. Partly, because of the masses of baggy clothing and bigger haircuts, and partly because that’s the year in which most of the crowd here tonight were born.

Bad Moon kick off proceeding’s with a rough bash at angry, shouty grunge. Y’know how Pearl Jam got pissed off after Ten and made Vs, then got more pissed off and made Vitalogy? Well, if they’d gone another couple of rebellious steps in that direction, they might have ended up sounding something like this.

Cue a change of about four facial features and a different plaid shirt, and we have The Wytches. The three-piece mix their particular brand of grunge with elements of Fugazi and the whiff of Josh Homme on Arctic Monkeys ‘Humbug’ to create massive waves of intrigue. Far from the finished article, but touches of class are evident when a more melodic tone is embraced.

And, someone went and nicked these lads guitars after the show which is BAD, BAD FORM YOU LIGHT-FINGERED PRICKS. If anyone knows owt, let The Wytches know.

Headliners Drenge stroll onto the stage around 10pm after mastering the merchandising bandwagon by giving away badges on the door. Goes a long way, that. Brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless rifle through the first five songs like a band that have 30 minutes of material to fill a 45 minute set, with a barrage of two-minute songs that all unfortunately all sound the same. A lack of dynamics and options makes the two-piece, at this point, rather limited in what they can do. But, luckily for them, what they can do, is make a terrific bloody racket. Bloodsports sounds immediately iconic, and Backwaters is quite simply brilliant. Passion by the bucket-load, an enormous lead guitar track, and lyrics that make you want to rip your clothes off and throw a brick through the nearest window.

A slower, borderline ballad ends the evening after more promising flirtation with different song structures. With only four songs released, it’s probably too soon for a big push, but, aside from all the posturing, angst and bravado, there is definitely a very interesting songwriter rumbling away inside Eoin Loveless.

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