When small-town British musician Eoin Loveless touched down in New York last week — his first time in the U.S. — he couldn’t believe it.
“America is everything that I thought it would be, everything that the movies told me it would be. I’ve just been walking around, marveling at all the stuff you see,” says the 22-year-old vocalist-guitarist from Castleton, who, along with his drumming kid brother Rory, makes up the grunge duo Drenge, which hits The City this week.
On the group’s self-titled debut disc, Loveless thinks and writes visually in dismal anthems such as “Backwaters,” “Bloodsports,” “Face Like a Skull” and “People in Love Make Me Feel Yuck.”
While living a depressing Mike Leigh script, unemployed, he began studying classic movies on television, then home-schooled himself in their history via Mark Cousins’ 15-part documentary “The Story of Film: An Odyssey.” Then he began studying film and television in college.
“I did that for a year, but then the band took off, so I put university on hold,” says the musician who, of course, one day wants to direct.
The Instagram regular already views the Big Apple as a city “where you could just set up a camera to record anywhere, and within five minutes something really amazing will happen.
Something that sets your imagination going.” For example, water cascading over Central Park’s partially frozen Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, which he compulsively filmed.
“The reflection was very brittle, as if the water was moving the ice toward a black hole — it was something I’d never seen before,” he says.
Even the name Drenge — Danish for “boys” — is cinema-related. Loveless is a huge fan of Denmark’s cutting-edge auteur Lars von Trier. Instinctively, he began writing songs about his dead-end existence, then recruited Rory, already proficient in jazz percussion.
“At the height of the recession, being a two-piece was the cheapest way to make rock music, and you don’t have to split the costs — or the profits — five ways,” Eoin Loveless says.
The siblings’ break occurred last summer, when outgoing Labour Member of Parliament Tom Watson mentioned them in his resignation letter, which read. “If you want to see an awesome band, I recommend Drenge.”
Then again, counters Loveless, “We got a tweet earlier today from a girl saying ‘I really like your music. But is there a chance you’ll get any better-looking?’ So maybe if I get some plastic surgery, we’ll sell more concert tickets!”
IF YOU GO
Where: Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F.
When: 8:30 p.m. Friday
Contact: (415) 626-4455, www.bottomofthehill.com