Josef K

Only Fun in Town/Sorry for Laughing

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The jittery, frenetic Scots of Josef K may have recorded what would prove to be Postcard's lone full-length in less than a week, but it's no shambling matter. Much of The Only Fun in Town material had indeed been recorded and scrapped earlier, so the focus of the LP is unwavering. The sound of many a post-punk band at the turn of the '80s involved scratchy and tinny guitars, jerky rhythms bordering on danceable, and sometimes melodic but generally spastic vocals -- a sound that had the tendency to wear thin on most ears after lengthy exposure. But Josef K did their job and got the hell out of Dodge here; the ten tracks whip by in roughly half an hour. Though slightly derivative with shades of Fear of Music-era Talking Heads, XTC's second and third records, and Joy Division without the inner chaos, The Only Fun in Town nonetheless influenced a legion of U.K.-based bands centered on the Creation label's mid- to late-'80s roster. This two-fer combines the band's abandoned first LP (Sorry for Laughing) with their official debut. There's overlap in a few tracks, but it's interesting to witness the shift from the more bottom-heavy production of Laughing to the comparatively trebly Fun. Some arrangements are slightly altered as well.

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