Are you 20 years old and wasting away from terminal ennui? Then have we got the record for you ...
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.