Album Review: Desperate Journalist – “Desperate Journalist”
Okay, word association time. I’m guessing that you saw that band name and the first word that came to mind was “indie”. And yeah, maybe Desperate Journalist do veer towards the more jangly end of the music we cover in Pure Rawk. But there’s more to this lot than meets the eye. And anyway, an open mind is always a good thing to use when it comes to music.
If anything, this London four-piece definitely owe a nod to the goth sounds of the early ’80s, especially frontwoman Jo’s Siouxsie Sioux style vocals. There’s also a bit of an old school Manchester vibe going on here with the shimmering Johnny Marr style guitars and the swooping Joy Division/New Order basslines (courtesy of former Jonny Cola & The A Grades four-stringer Simon Drowner).
The crucial thing about Desperate Journalist though (and the main factor that earns this one a Pure Rawk seal of approval) is that they have a spiky punk energy to them which keeps you interested throughout this album, from the swirling “Control” through to the spiteful “Eulogy” and “Happening”, and it’s this which sets them out from the crowd. So yeah, they may definitely have indie tendencies but they definitely deserve more respect than to be lumped in with the faceless hordes in the NME. Give ’em a try, you might like ’em.
Rather like fellow newcomers Saint Agnes, Desperate Journalist peddle a dark and intense sound, although with less of a blues influence. What's key though is that there's an energy and menace to these songs that makes this debut an enjoyable listen. If you've got fond memories of the Banshees, Flesh For Lulu and Joy Division then I think it's safe to say you'll like these guys.