Brooklyn, N. Y.’s band Journalism released their first full-length album last month in “Faces,” a cohesively made project for a young band. The group offers a post-punk vibe that gives the album a distinct personality.
The album starts out strong, as the first two songs, “Faces” and “Watching & Waiting,” are the two best on the album. The song “Faces” is a fantastic blend of melody and lyricism that work together perfectly.
The band’s lead singer, Kegan Zema, uses the quiet, drowned-out sound of his voice on the track to match the lyrics, “Playing rock ‘n’ roll, no one hears the words.” For a band from Brooklyn, competing with other bands while finding their voice, this track is a perfect introduction to the album and band as a whole.
The album is a full-bodied experience that works well both lyrically and instrumentally, though it takes a few listens to get the full effect of the album. The muffled, hypnotic vocals that appear on nearly every track make it easy to get lost in the instrumental, though the lyrics become more prevalent the more you listen to it.
One of the only issues with “Faces” is its length. While it’s certainly possible to make a complete project in eight songs, the 35-minute album feels as though it could use another couple of songs to round it out. Perhaps this is a product of making good music and leaving listeners yearning for more, which is certainly not the worst problem to have. With that being said, eight good songs is better than 11 decent ones.
The album is well-paced, giving listeners quiet, reserved moments to accompany loud, bombastic ones, oftentimes on the same track. This is best highlighted on the album’s closing track, “Naked.” It appears at first as if the album may end contrary to its beginning, brooding and introspective with a soft guitar highlighting the lyrics “You might die young before you make it, you might just feel like you are naked,” before it switches gears on a dime as heavy drums kick in and the album ends with a bang.
The middle of the album runs together at times, both to its benefit and detriment. Journalism doesn’t stray from the sound that makes them fun, using drum-heavy tracks and frequent guitars to keep the attention of listeners as the album progresses. On the other hand, it could grow old to those who aren’t already fans of post-punk music.
Journalism is an exciting young band, which they show on their first full album. “Faces” marks the beginning of what could be something special as they grow and develop as a band.