If you listened closely to Drenge’s first album, you would have noticed, floating here and there on the tidal wave of energy that burst out of each song, a moment or two of subtle craft. A drop of wordplay, a gap of silence that added more weight to what came next, a neat turn or twist in the direction that felt unexpected and new. With the second album, Undertow, all of the latent exploratory finesse which made them stand out now becomes the bread and butter of the music. This album is the Drenge boys at play and at work sculpting out their own sound, mapping out their own territory, even if this album moves them closer to their indie compatriots like Ty Segall or Hookworms or the perennial Arctic Monkeys, the opposite of the Aerosmith rock morning breath of a band like Royal Blood. Perhaps it’s something in the Sheffield water or attitude that makes it natural to create songs that offer up a little slice of unseen life, a line leading directly back to Jarvis Cocker and Pulp, a sort of natural confusion with life that turns to exploration and revelation.
All the moods that were there in the first album simmering under the surface of uncontainable energy have now been exposed and set free.