Some bands achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. London’s Desperate Journalist are doing it the hard way, slowly but surely building momentum. A steadily growing fan base, an enviable back catalogue, a devastating live set. The ingredients are all there for an ascent to the top.
Age has not wearied Desperate Journalist, but given them a new outlook. Still loyal to the angular, riff-driven guitar sound, ‘Hollow’ is as brilliant for what isn’t there as what is. There is a space given to the music, a driving bass and drums evoking a journey through a landscape that is flat, open and stark. There is as much in the verse as there needs to be, with room for Jo Bevan’s calm voice. It then erupts into a wall of noise, a repeated refrain, a heartfelt pleading that intensifies as it builds.
It ends as it began: cavernous echo, but reflective and poignant.
The video treatment sees a girl meeting each member of the band at various points down a river, given stones and whispered words of warning or wisdom. It apes the Radiohead video for ‘Just’ in that there is something said that is a portent of doom that urges you to find out what until the very end and you are left without answer but the gifts of stones being dropped from a bridge in ceremony. Being shot in black and white gives it a classic feel, a story that you’ve been told and seen before.