Alternative | Grunge | Punk
The album artwork was what initially attracted me to Undertow; the car abandoned in the woods, the colour palette of the dusk scene, it seemed inviting yet deeply sinister. It turns out it sums up the album quite nicely. This Derbyshire band are like the opposite side of the coin to Royal Blood. Instead of big ferocious riffs you have a slow menacing build. One is a lion, the other is some mysterious creature lurking in the shadows for it’s moment to strike. Drenge have taken the bizarre and intoxicating music of bands like Tool and Mastodon and have calmed things down and made it more accessible. It also contains some clear punk influences on ‘We Can Do What We Want’ and ‘Favourite Son’. The latter starts with an infectious beat and a surf rock riff before the aggression breaks free. The highlight of the album is certainly ‘The Woods’, it manages to be both ominous and catchy. I’ve certainly never known a song use part of the Lord’s Prayer in a chorus before, but they pull it off in an effective and memorable way. The vocals aren’t anything spectacular and at times the band build up the tension and then let it fade away rather than reach for a captivating climax, but all things considered it is great effort.