Josef K Reviews

Endless Soul

Marina Records

More than Kafkaesque Scots indie band from the days of suits and roses. At the time there was something rather daunting about Josef K. They eschewed smiling, they wore suits and they were named after the character in the Franz Kafka novel that wasn't about an insect. But closer inspection revealed a band who were much more than a Bauhaus you could stop laughing at. Their records - on Postcard, the label Creation wanted to be - were loud, flailing guitar devils that thought they were James Brown playing with Pere Ubu. Their live shows were even faster flailing guitar devils, occasionally enlivened by old Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis routines performed by singer Paul Haig and guitarist Malcolm Ross. This German collection contains the still-brilliant singles Sorry For Laughing and It's Kinda Funny (see the comedy!), several album tracks and material from John Peel (including an earlier, more deranged version of Haig's solo single Heaven Sent). In these more indie-friendly times, Josef K would be féted by punter and radio alike. David Quantick Q Online


ARE YOU 20 YEARS OLD AND WASTING away from terminal ennui? Then have we got the record for you.

For in the middle distant past there were those who felt the same. It's Edinburgh, 1979, and time for you to meet Josef K. They've just heard the first Television album, are bored of the negative aesthetics of punk rock and have this sound in their heads that they're just dying to get out. Problem is they can't really play their instruments and singer Paul Haig, well, he can't really sing.

Then again, as this life-affirming career retrospective from those good German folk at Marina Records confirms, that doesn't matter; what makes 'Endless Soul' so monstrously inspiring is that it's proof that with a few good ideas and a whole load of effort, you can achieve results beyond your wildest dreams. In this case, it's a trebly, scratchy and consistently lovelorn clatter peppered with the occasional brilliant single ('Chance Meeting', 'It's Kinda Funny') and perversely beautiful ballads like 'Sorry For Laughing'. That Creeping Bent head honcho Douglas McIntyre, a man who knows his onions, has provided a heartfelt sleevenote-cum-eulogy highlights the prescience of this odd, primitive noise - preparing the world for the post-rock, lo-fi and indie-pop that would follow. Josef K or boredom, then - you can't have both. 8/10 Jim Wirth
NME


 
Marina News Marina Home Page Marina Store Marina Images Contact Marina Marina Links