Drenge – Autonomy EP

Drenge go back to basics and release their first EP following two standout albums, their eponymous debut and 2015's Undertow

Album Review by Harriet Willis | 04 Oct 2018
  • Drenge – Autonomy EP
Album title: Autonomy EP
Artist: Drenge
Label: Infectious Music
Release date: 5 Oct

Recorded at Sheffield's McCall Sound studios with long-time collaborator Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, M.I.A., The Fall), Drenge's four-track Autonomy EP shows the progression of the Sheffield band; going from the dirty rough tracks of 2013's eponymous debut to a more polished sound. Although Autonomy is missing This Dance, their first new song in three years, it follows on from the vibe they set out with it in May.

Opening Autonomy is the EP titular track, showing a more upbeat and chirpy sound from Drenge, particularly compared to their previously gruelling noise of dirty guitars and heavy drums; the notes brighter and more melodic. Fades to Black could be a lost recording from 2015's Undertow however, showing that they've not strayed too far from their original sound. With deep drums and an overall movie soundtrack-esque vibe, it's a classic Drenge song.

Likewise, Outside is another definitive fast-paced rowdy track, full of complementary rhythms that fit with occasional distortion and the constant urgency in Eoin Loveless' vocals; 'Go tell the doctor,' he bawls.

Ending on Before the War Begins, the EP's lead single offered another insight into what Drenge had been up to in their time off the scene, which also includes the development of their temporary mascot DR3-NG3 – “a scientific research robot nearing the end of his functional capabilities and pursuing a quest for validation” – who appear on the EP's cover art.

With Autonomy, Drenge have simply slightly improved on a sound they already do perfect well. Without moving too far forward, it features throwbacks to their previous work while igniting an excitement for a third full length album.

Listen to: Fades to Black, Outside, Before the War Begins