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Drenge Strange Creatures Infectious Records

Despite having their style cramped slightly with a co-sign from Tom Watson of the Labour Party, grungey UK band Drenge’s early singles pulsed and raged with palpable disgust, and the adolescent sincerity of songs like Dogmeat and People in Love Make Me Feel Yuck held a certain charm.

Sadly this is no longer true. Drenge now resemble a mediocre Arctic Monkeys tribute band, although vocalist Eoin Loveless displays none of Alex Turner’s wit and brass. The result is their third studio album, Strange Creatures: a work devoid of nuance.

It starts with a bang (as in, the words “it started with a bang”) as the lads set out with Bonfire of the City Boys, painting themselves as successor to Guy Fawkes: young radicals with a match at the touchpaper of youth revolution. From here it’s an almost exhaustive list of hackneyed reference points and glib examinations of ‘issues of the day’. Fake news! Prom night! Motorway raves! Philip K Dick!

In fairness, beefing up the group to four members sees them expand beyond chunky riffage, and musically, they succeed at creating the “nocturnal” record they set out to. But even this feels derivative. Music doesn’t always have to be original, but it should never be this dull.