The group’s very moniker evokes nostalgia in hacks like me. These days, journalists dream of the days when they were merely desperate. But then, Desperate Journalist are a throwback to pre-internet days, when music press ink was a key ingredient in the make-of of a group, days of goth and post-punk, of glittering, raucous, melodic, anthemic, tidal rock, of U2, Siouxsie, The Cocteaus, The Cure etc.
Tersely titled tracks such as O and Cristina reflect an alternative 80s sensibility. It’s pointedly derivative but nonetheless highly effective, the boy-girl-boy-girl line-up whipping up a righteously nocturnal storm on the likes of Control and Hesitate, Jo Bevan’s arcing vocals and Rob Hardy’s caustic, cascading guitars proving especially irresistible.
For hopeless rock romantics of a certain age, Desperate Journalist’s quixotic tilting at the windmills of time is profoundly appealing. Yes, change has to occur but is degeneration really necessary?/o:p