Desperate Journalist

DHP Presents: Desperate Journalist

It’s gonna be a damned Good Friday – Easter 2021 sees the return of noirish alt.goth roustabouts DESPERATE JOURNALIST, who pile back into the marketplace with a brand new single called ‘Fault’ on April 2nd. Driven along by Simon Drowner’s ear-popping bassline ‘Fault’ finds the quartet in impeccably brutalist form, all banshee howls and lacerating lyrics from singer Jo Bevan. “And those teenage hangups are hard to beat / When your closet is piled up with defeat,” she snaps at one especially prickly point, as alongside her guitarist Rob Hardy and drummer Caz Hellbent add fuel to the sonic flamings.
‘Fault’ is the first track to be hauled from Desperate Journalist’s forthcoming and thoroughly forthright fourth album, ‘Maximum Sorrow!’, recorded entirely in Crouch End in lockdown and released on July 2nd. Here’s what Jo says of this first shot from the longplaying bows…
“The lyrics for ‘Fault’ were initially written quite intuitively and informed by what sounded good mouthwise with the kind of melody I thought the song needed – quite sonorous, Jim Kerr-y vowels. As I edited it into something which actually made sense, it naturally turned into a memory-screed about a terrible flat I once lived in and how the place itself seemed to reflect all the misery going on in my life at the time. I quite like the idea of a song sounding so big and dark and kinetic but with lyrics set mostly in quite a small space where nothing really happens except for unexpressed turbulent emotion.
“Structurally it’s unusual for us in that it a) doesn’t have many guitars on it and b) has a shifting hook/chorus which doesn’t happen at the times you’d necessarily expect. It was more of a textural exercise to record too which was really enjoyable and interesting – there are two drumkits on the recording and also synth undercurrents to make it extra propulsive and intense.”
So post-punk has made it into the springtime pages of The Sunday Times? Oh, DO keep up – Desperate Journalist have been raging against the corporate machine for aeons with their melodramatic blend of traumatised guitars and artbroken vocals. In fact, ‘Maximum Sorrow!’ will represent their fourth full album release in the six years since the ‘Desperate Journalist’ debut appeared in 2015. Sophomore effort ‘Grow Up’ stormed out in 2017 and 2019 saw the search for ‘In Search Of The Miraculous’.
Throw in a couple of five-track EPs (‘Good Luck’ and ‘You Get Used To It’) and their melody-shattering proficiency is apparent for all to see. Add in a litany of ten-out-of-ten media reviews and utterly devotional followings from desperate fanboys and fangirls from Birmingham to Berlin and Desperate Journalist’s incredibly credible status is more bulletproof than ever before.
In fact, what really is impressive this time around is that ‘Fault’ sounds so alive but as it was written and recorded in lockdown it has never actually been played live – now that really does take some creative skillings.

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