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Josefus... Plus

Josefus

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Album Review

Josefus' second album was actually an improvement over the band's first (Dead Man), by virtue of its more versatile songwriting, slightly better riffs, and occasional drifts beyond sub-Led Zeppelin-style early metal. All that considered, it's still a pedestrian Led Zeppelin-like Texas take on early hard rock-metal, though Pete Bailey's vocals are a little less obviously in the Robert Plant mold this time around. Less blues-based than Dead Man as well, it contains some of their better songs in "America," which shows the influence of lighter California-styled psychedelia, the odd "Jimmy, Jimmy," apparently about a friend unfairly institutionalized for freaking out (inspired by fellow Texan Roky Erickson by any chance?), and, most surprisingly, the gentle country-rock of "Such Is Life." [Italian imprint Akarma reissued the album as an expanded version, complete with six bonus tracks.]

Biography

Formed: Texas

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Josefus was one of the first American bands to bridge late-'60s hard rock with early-'70s heavy metal. Their two albums, both released in 1970, were extremely influenced by early Led Zeppelin, and to a lesser degree other heavy British and American rock groups from the end of the '60s. Blues-rock formed much of the base; Pete Bailey's high tortured vocals owed much to the Robert Plant school, and the songs were built around crunching riffs. But the songs and riffs, mostly in a downbeat foreboding...
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