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Desperate Journalist: Desperate Journalist

North London post-punk throwbacks’ debut album.

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