by Eloise Bulmer
|Jo Bevan of Desperate Journalist – photo by The Chaos Engineers
How are you feeling about releasing your album ‘Grow Up’?
We are all so excited and impatient about it – we have all put so much work and love into this record and we can’t wait for people to hear it.
What your personal favourite track off of ‘Grow Up’ and why?
If I have to choose it’s probably ‘Lacking In Your Love’, because it feels so big and anthemic and has only got one chorus. It’s my favourite to play live as well.
What’s your writing process like, is it more solo or collaborative?
Rob will write bits and pieces or even whole song structures, and we all work on fleshing the ideas out into fully formed song structures. Then I write the melodies to what we have, and work out how to fit lyrics I’ve already got to the music.
What’s the concept behind your recent video for ‘Resolution’?
The song was written after a New Year’s Eve party where I was feeling totally out of step with everyone and the social whirl of it all and the video is basically a literal interpretation of that.
You’re about to embark on a UK and German tour, are you looking forward to playing new songs live?
Hugely. Playing live is my favourite part of being in a band, and we all love doing new stuff because it’s always much more exciting. We are already playing a number of songs off the new album live and they’ve been going down really well which is great.
Are there any places you would like to play in the future?
I really want to do the whole breaking America thing, but it’s just way too expensive at the moment unfortunately. I’d also like to play my childhood hometown of High Wycombe, out of spite.
Finally, what date of tour are you most looking forward to playing?
The Scala, which will be the biggest gig we have ever played. I’m terrified/super excited.
Check out Desperate Journalist’s releases on Bandcamp and keep up with their tour plans on Facebook
by Eloise Bulmer
Ringing in the new year with a brand new song from their upcoming album, Desperate Journalist’s ‘Resolution’ is full of chiming guitars and lyrics sung with conviction. The track kicks of the new year with a melancholy note, with a sweeping and mournful sound that wraps up what 2016 was to many people.
Vocalist Jo Bevan explains the story behind the track:
“The song was written in a hotel room after a New Year’s Eve party when I was feeling particularly peculiar, unable to drink and on a lot of codeine. NYE is obviously an unusually heightened time to feel completely out of the loop with a group and when that happens to me, like everything else I can’t really cope with, I romanticise it into filmic fragments.
The countdown to midnight was dramatized massively by the band we were watching (as is standard), and I couldn’t escape fixating on teenage thoughts like: how many cliched repetitive conversations/Fun Times you have with people on Significant Days of the Year, how emotionally awkward the midnight kiss was for so many of us, the people making big pointless romantic gestures, and the general warm frenzy of everyone else from the weird cold bubble of where I was. So broadly speaking, the song is about being detached and overstimulated.”
The track is released on the build up to their second album ‘Grow Up’ which will be released on the 24th of March, and is sure to get an airing at their headline show at Scala on the 6th of April.
review by Eloise Bulmer of Music Soup
From the first line of ‘Talk Of Violence’ you know what Petrol Girls are about. “We will disturb the false peace” screams vocalist Ren Aldridge, disturbing the peace literally and metaphorically. Beginning the song with a field recording of protesters chanting “we shut shit down” at a Sisters Uncut demonstration, the track doesn’t hesitate in getting to the core of what Petrol Girls stand for.
It’s an angry sounding records but doesn’t shy away from melody and good songwriting – the guitar riffs from Joe York and backing vocals from Leipa Kuraitė help to alleviate the causticity that can be found in the bands sound elsewhere and means people will be listening and absorbing what they have to say.
Bands like Petrol Girls who address important social issues in their music are paramount in a society where Brexit won and politicians want to build walls to keep refugees out of the country. The song ‘Treading Water’ is directly about the migrant crisis and the refugee camp in Calais, and lyrics like “London is dead / Europe is lost” are more important than ever, and are sure to hit home with many listeners who are despairing at the decisions Britain has made.
‘Touch Me Again’ starts with lyrics about consent placed firmly atop a juddering guitar riff that soon heads into more standard rock territory with the lyrics “it’s my body / and my choice” spat with conviction. It’s again another topic that needs to be spoken about to educate and to bring attention to the social, political and legal injustice for victims of rape. The highlight of the track is the outro – “touch me again and I’ll fucking kill you” being screamed over and over by Ren, a sentiment that is clearly sung for passion and a commitment to solving the problem rather than to be topical.
Feminism is a topic that has a thread from beginning to end on this album, from ‘Harpy’ which is about how powerful women have to work against stereotypes to be successful and how even then people will discredit them, to ‘Phallocentric’ which is a song about how men and male power are revered in our society. The use of the lyric “I can’t get no” contrasts harshly with its use in The Rolling Stones’ ’(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, a song with unashamed sexual connotations, and demonstrates how tuned in Petrol Girls are with double standards and sexuality.
Closing track ‘Rewild’ is the perfect summation of the bands debut album. “Do you wanna be or be seen?” queries Ren, and it’s obvious which she’s chosen. With enough commitment and fury when addressing the issues covered on this 10-track release (and they manage to squeeze in a lot), this is a band that will make a difference with their music whether it’s 1000 people screaming along to their songs at a basement show, or 1000 potential new fans being won over by their fervour and sincerity on stage.
‘Talk of Violence’ is out on Bomber Music on the 18th of November.