Bethan Shuff

‘Founded upon our love for red stripe, meal deals and fuZzz’ back in October 2016, Dregs became the new band on the block, with Jake Ward, Darcy Reddin and Alex Grant in the line-up.

Teasing us with the release of Chloroform in January (I will clarify here that Chloroform is the name of a song, Dregs didn’t drug us), we were finally graced with the full Dregs EP on April 26, with an official launch party at The Underground on May 5.

Opening the four-track self-titled EP is Crows Feet. A resonating drum beat leads the way before the screech of a guitar joins to weave in and out of the beat in short licks before revealing that repetitive drum beat in each momentary pause. Jake Ward’s vocals are croaky, yet cool as they are deliberately lazily sung over Darcy’s calm and sooth bass line. ‘Go on and drink to forget, that’s what I recommend’, Jake’s vocals fade out and a spiral of guitar deepens before Alex’s sticks introduce a killer instrumental.

The second track 501 is Jake’s most personal one as it was the first track Dregs wrote together after forming. I’d say this was the most relaxed track on the EP with a bit of a shoegazey intro, which definitely eased them in to the heavier tracks. A quick paced hi-hat beat with hazy 90s guitar tones makes it the most easy-listening track on the EP, but still fits in with the grungier tracks as Jake gruffly shouts the chorus with so much power you wonder how his lungs haven’t collapsed.

Doze is a deep, bass-driven number with an addictive riff. There’s a contrast between soft verses of unconventional lyrics, extended instrumentals filled with punchy effects and the washy vocals of ‘sleep walk’ which stretch over the chorus. A high-powered finale from the garage-rock trio completes the track as it fades into the fuzz.

Finally, the single from the EP: Chloroform. Ward is probably sick of the Nirvana/Kurt Cobain comparisons by now; however, he channels him incredibly well in the track as it sounds vocally influenced by Kurt in Nirvana’s ‘Rape Me’. It’s probably not coincidental that Dregs have been selected to support Nirvana UK later this year. Chloroform the most energetic track on the EP with an up-tempo beat and fast, fierce guitars. The track gets switched up at every opportunity to provide something fresh and interesting to listen to as the band explore different rhythms and techniques.

Dregs next gig will be July 1 supporting The Hiding Place at The Underground where Sam Ogden will be on the kit as their permanent drummer after Alex had to leave the band due to unforeseen circumstances.