Of all the new bands to get excited about, Drenge are perhaps the most menacing. You wouldn’t think it to look at them – two ordinary brothers from a small town near Sheffield – but almost everything they do screams ‘sinister’.
There’s the biting guitar riffs, thundering drums and raw, bile-flecked lyrics (“Make you run to the hills, make you piss your pants/I wanna break you in half!” goes one number), and the blood-spattered artwork for the latest in their line of violently thrilling songs, new single ‘Bloodsports’ – their heaviest and best track yet. Heck, even their name sounds like some fictional horror that’d make children and adults alike scared to sleep with the lights off.
“We got a little bit obsessed with Denmark,” recalls younger sibling Rory Loveless of the moniker’s roots. “Our school had an exchange with a school in Denmark and when we were playing football with the boys, they shouted the word. We were watching Danish films as well. Some of them are quite difficult to watch, they deal with themes like child abuse. We’d go onstage and it’d be the same sort of feeling – I mean, not as bad as child abuse, but awkward and difficult and messy.”
The dark, ominous overtones he’s referencing ring true in almost everything the band do – even in the name of their own newly launched imprint, Mad Mark, which pays tribute to a local alcoholic. “He gets on this bus that we get,” explains Rory’s older brother Eoin. “Everyone knew him as Mad Mark. He would witter on about the CIA and stuff. It was quite scary but we decided to name the label after him.”
In conjunction with Infectious (who succeeded in sealing the deal with the duo amid a sizeable industry scrum late last year), the boys aren’t willing to rest on their laurels. Between shows with The Cribs and Deap Vally, an album is being collated this month. Rory says it will be released “this year, hopefully quite soon” and confirms that fan favourites ‘Dogmeat’ and ‘People In Love Make Me Feel Yuck’ will be included. Drenge’s future looks set to be nothing less than heart-stoppingly, bone-shakingly exciting.
NEED TO KNOW
Based: Castleton, Derbyshire
For Fans Of: The White Stripes, QOTSA
Buy It Now: New single ‘Bloodsports’
See Them Live: The band open for The Cribs at an NME Awards show at London’s 02 Brixton Academy on Feb 22, before heading out on tour with Deap Vally from Feb 23
On NME.COM: Check the exclusive mixtape the band have made especially for Radar The Barber’s Jar