REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Desperate Journalist Debut Ticks All The Right Boxes

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Desperate Journalist’s self-titled debut album builds on the fantastic single they released last year, as the band continue to demonstrate their ability to balance phenomenal vocals with stunning guitar riffs that grab you and don’t let go.

The late 90’s were a very special time to come of age.  Following the peaks of the Britpop years there were a number of bands that were taking advantage of an electrifying indie scene that would become one of the most popular genres of that period.

I'm sure we’re all familiar with the names of the bands by now and I’m certainly not going to reel off a collection of my favourites as there were too many to choose from, but what made this period in time special was bands were throwing caution to the wind and producing energized, guitar heavy indie tunes that would put the UK back on the musical map.

So when I hear a band whose music reminds me of the Brit-pop era I go to a very happy place and start to reminisce.  Desperate Journalist does just this.

I could listen to Jo Bevan sing all day long.  Her vocals are encapsulating, and coupled with Rob Hardy’s mesmerizing guitar riffs, well let’s just say that prior to writing this review I have nearly worn the album out through listening to it.

Desperate Journalist have featured on Subba-Cultcha before, as part of a New Music Snapshot and I believe Jo’s vocals were compared to those of Shirley Manson’s of Garbage fame.  Striking, invigorating and perfectly balanced throughout the tracks, there’s an edge to her voice which combines with a velvety smoothness that takes your hand and leads you through the tracks.  I might be getting a little carried away but I’m hoping you understand once you have a listen.

Along with Bevan's voice the album provides a very distinct sound, testament to the dedication and self-production of the tracks.  I was trying to think of another band I’ve heard this year that provides the same distinct sound while heavily reminiscent of the Britpop era and I'll be honest, I struggled.

If I had to suggest one small issue with the record, and it is tiny, there is a danger that some of the tracks blend into each other.  I was introduced to the band through “Control” which opens the album superbly, while “Cristina”, “Hesitate” and “Remainder” carry on this fantastic opening, but there are some similarities across the songs.  To be fair to the band, this is a slightly ridiculous point to make as the tracks are great and they all strengthen the distinct sound Desperate Journalist have, but for the purposes of objectivity I thought it was worth mentioning.

Anyway, now I’ve finished rambling on I would recommend two things; going to see them live and also listening to a few of their tracks… I guarantee that a small amount of exposure to Desperate Journalist will result in a purchase of their album.

To visit the Desperate Journalist website click here.

Words by Mark Jennings