A.O.T.W: Desperate Journalist – ‘Maximum Sorrow’
Described by The Quietus as “beautiful and spellbinding”, London post-punk band Desperate Journalist release their fourth album Maximum Sorrow through Fierce Panda Records. Taking the album title from Kevin Bewersdorf’s project, ‘Maximum Sorrow’, the record reflects his original concept. Vocalist Jo Bevan explains,
“One of his main creations was a project called Maximum Sorrow, which incorporated stock images and corporate design elements juxtaposed with a kind of Taoist spirituality. The concept was based on the idea that once you reach a point of full saturation of melancholy, then you can’t absorb any more, and you are thus free-or it could also be a slogan for a company offering incredibly efficient misery delivered directly into your brain from the Information Superhighway”
Recently appearing on Killing Moon’s New Moons XV and now becoming our album of the week, the quartet’s new release continues to excite us as much as its predecessors. Despite fewer guitar layers as previous releases, the guitar-pop style still resonates along with its undeniable attention on the exquisite vocals. Melancholic and beguiling (the two aspects they tried to capture), the record is a multi-coloured creation that has perfected all of its tasteful elements.
Bevan continues, “There are songs on here about moving to London, psychodramas happening in London flats, and becoming disillusioned with the city, but if there is a theme lyrically speaking it’s more generally reflective and ruminatory. It’s “informed by lockdown” (urgh) only in the sense that it’s very honestly about what goes on inside my own head. It *is* definitely informed by Bewersdorf’s concept, though, in the sense that I am aware of an almost religious yearning for meaning, beauty, absolution, love, whatever, in my observing the everyday and within revisiting my memories-and the inevitable sadness that can come with the realisation that this is an almost impossible state to achieve, even if I knew exactly what it was I was looking for. NB: There are also some purely spiteful barbs in there against those who I consider to have wronged me, because I am incapable of helping myself”