Suffice to say that this is really rather remarkable. With the alliteration out of the way, I’ll get on to actually reviewing instead of being a bit of a smart arse.
Desperate Journalist are a four-piece hailing from London, and their first album is eponymous. Released on 12th January it will most likely be there or there abouts in many a ‘Best of 2015’ list in about eleven months time.
From opening track Control (vid below) through to closer Cement you’ll be treated to a non-stop album of relentless alternative music that heralds a dawning for how good guitar-based music in the UK can be. Not a single track could be described here as weak, or filler, or anything remotely bad.
Opener Control sets the stall in an immediate fasion as is possible. Made up of (band members here) their cohesiveness is superb. Not a single note of Rob Hardy’s twelve string guitar is out of place with the backbone provided by Caz Helbent’s and Simon Drowner’s rhythm section. And the voice. Oh the voice of Jo Bevan raises and soars.
Moving on to O and Christina the lack of filler continues with pulsating early-U2 (not a bad thing I promise!) riffs and head-bobbing rhythms that come with a touch of Siousie Sioux from (vocalist) – but these are inspirations, not rip-offs. The one thing that Desperate Journalist sound like in total is themselves. Not only that there aren’t that many female fronted alternative bands out there at the moment, and there certainly aren’t that many with a female drummer.
Moving back to the album, the musicianship and production values are of the highest quality here. I’ve already mentioned the tightness of the rhythm section, and I think it prudent to mention further the sound of the guitar, which is ajother of the elements of the album that’s aconstant. This is provided by Hardy and his 12-string Rickenbacker – the guitar of the jangle with even more jangliness, which sparkles and shines. Tracks such as Remainder and Nothing shimmer.
The quality of the album doesn’t, to my ear, detriorate the closer one gets to its end. It’s a delight to listen to from start to finish, and you feel like when it ends putting it on again.
It’s clean, it’s fantastic and you’ll love it. Or at least you should do!
Desperate Journalist by Desperate Journalist was released on 12th January on Firce Panda.