They're kinda like every freelancing music writer out there today, but in name only: Desperate Journalist actually intend to revive the fury of some vague DIY scene that's apparently been lost and found in time. Either way, their eponymous new record is one of full-on emotive force and self-sustained anthemic pride, recalling the loudest, most arena-ready of alt-rockers. Desperate, maybe, but confident and assured, too.
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You have to stop and give a wry smirk to the name. Calling themselves after the type of person who will be writing about them is quite the bold move lest they not get the plaudits they wish for.
I’d like to think that I’m not *that* desperate so I have no qualms about telling you the truth that Desperate Journalist come across somewhat like a school band version of ‘The Dark Side of the 80’s’ compilation. On ‘Organ’ the guitarist wishes to be Johnny Marr, on ‘Control‘ The Edge and on ‘Cristina‘ Thurston Moore. Whilst this game of musical chairs takes place, singer Jo Bevan tries her hardest to sound like Siouxie Sioux channelling Morrissey. Sometimes its forgivable, ‘Cristina‘ has a nice blend of My Bloody Valentine noise blasts and Icicle Works taut jangle atop some very severe Morrissey-isms. But with no audible influences post 1988, Desperate Journalist often come across like the sort of band who would do well to get second support to The Popguns at The Duchess of York in 1991. To fast forward straight into the modern day you could say its a Savages obsessed with The Smiths rather than Joy Division.
They do a fair job of coagulating the past into a Twitter friendly, 140 note soundbite but people as old and as wizened as me have heard this stuff done many, many, many, many, many, many times before. Whether that matters to those younger and more fresh-eared than me remains to be seen.
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