Josef K Entomology

Domino Recordings continues its spring-cleaning with another entry in their "Sound of Young Scotland” series spotlighting forgotten bands from the fruitful early ’80s. Following in the footsteps of previous compilations by the likes of Orange Juice and the Fire Engines, Josef K receive a much needed reissue treatment. Originally named TV Art, the trio changed their name to the Kafka-inspired Josef K and became one of the flagship bands on the influential Postcard label. Their debut Sorry for Laughing (which has been compiled alongside other recordings, but never properly released) was initially shelved in favour of the less polished The Only Fun in Town, and with the exception of some seven-inches, there’s little material out there to be had since they broke up only a few years after forming. Entomology compiles the band’s best bits, chronologically cutting and pasting songs from both albums, as well as singles, b-sides and some Peel Sessions onto one essential disc. With an urgent, twitchy approach to songwriting the band were often split between their label’s pop-oriented rep and the fertile post-punk movement of the time. In hindsight it makes sense considering the intricate rhythmic patterns of "Heads Watch” or the brisk velocity of "Fun ‘N’ Frenzy.” Paul Haig’s sober nuance complements the frenetic nature wholly, breaking out of its stern shell when necessary to highlight a melody, as with "Sorry for Laughing” or the later "Missionary.” Anyone curious in discovering why the Wedding Present play so damn fast, or why Franz Ferdinand formed in the first place best look here. (Domino)