The Journals Debut EP – Review
The Journals Debut EP is a reflective, sentimental and penetrating collection of songs that are instrumentally indie rock orientated, but shows a core of tender, exposing, and skillful songwriting.
The five track self titled EP has many different sounds and influences rippling throughout it. ‘Creatures’ has a Nirvana-esque rolling guitar riff, which highlights the angst of the music even more. Bursting clustered drum beats create a breathlessness and sense of anxiety that root the lyrics of the song so poignantly. Although the song is quite lengthily at 6 minutes 18 seconds, the smooth links are so natural it would be a sin the cut the organic continuity of the song.
The theme of contrast is prevalent in ‘Evil Man’; a rumbling distorted electric guitar underneath the clear acoustic gives a darker sensation to the music and the unpolished vocals evoke the emotional rawness of the track. Recording techniques and filters in the vocals were also powerfully haunting, and were to great effect.
‘Blankets’ repetitive chant-like verse really make the lyrics the focal point of this track. Clear, evolving harmonies transform the simple melody into something beautiful and dynamic… ”Blankets” embodies the phrase ‘Simplicity is effective’. My favorite feature of this song is the stunning juxtaposition of the elegant melody with the melancholic words which are so contrastingly wonderful.
‘Part II’ opens with a dreamy echoing riff, which after transforming into an intense opening section, suddenly switches to an exposed simple bass line, again highlighting the powerfully cutting lyrics. The quality of the words and music allows for repetition of the verse and chorus and due to the weighty and moving verse, does not sound repetitive at all.
My favorite song on the EP is ‘Move Away’. The infectious riff has your attention straight away and catapults you into the character of the track. The contrast between the rocky riff and the brighter chorus is connected by some great unexpected chord changes. Towards the end, a collision of the two themes forms brilliant closing material, and finishes with a final statement of that oh so catchy riff.
The Journals emotive and memorable lyrics and melodies really resonate with the listener which is a talent that some bands take decades to produce. This young band are an upcoming Irish talent that hopefully will spread their musical wings to produce more music in the very near future… I can’t wait to hear more from them… Watch this space!
Review by Ruth McGovern