by Richard Archer
Desperate Journalist – Grow Up
With regards to songwriting, Desperate Journalist’s new album feels like a great lost record from an era when bands like the Cure or the Smiths were at the peak of their powers. With regards to the band themselves and the production, they sound a lot tougher than that. From the opener ‘Hollow’ onwards, you can hear the bands’ possible influences but also their distance from them. For instance, on ‘Resolution’, there are flashes of Simon Gallup-like bass invention, but anchored to a punchy bottom-end that simply doesn’t belong in that era. The end result is more Simon Wallop.
Likewise, ‘Be Kind’, features Smiths-y (or do you just say Smithy?) guitar work on the verse but explodes on the chorus in a style more that is more chunk than chime. And of course, singer Jo Bevan has been compared to Morrissey but to my ears this is only here and there in the melodies. The imagery in her lyrics feels miles away from the kitchen sink grit of the Moz, such as on Resolution:
“She says I haven’t seen you in years
Like confetti in the atmosphere”
Enough of that anyway, there are tracks on here that simply beguile. ‘Purple’ hypnotises thanks to Caz Helbert’s perfectly-judged drumming, as does ‘Lacking in Your Love’ with its amazing twisty guitar riff that grabs your attention from the songs beginning. This is the band’s second album and so evident is the band’s scope and propulsion that you’re left feeling intrigued as to what album three may bring. A really excellent album.