REVIEW – A staggering 35 years, and 15 albums into their career, and Killing Joke brought the thunder with their latest outing called “Pylon”, released on October 23, 2015, once again on the Spinefarm label. Actually entering at #16 on the UK album charts, the original lineup of Killing Joke have their first UK top 20 album since 1994.
Going back as far as 1978 in the London post-punk era, the original lineup consisting of vocalist Jaz Coleman, drummer Big Paul Ferguson, bassist Martin “Youth” Glover, and guitarist Kevin “Geordie” Walker, held steady until mid-1982, coming full-circle again, reuniting in mid-2008 and sticking together since. They’ve also utilized the keyboard wizardry of Reza Uhdin who became a full-time member in 2005. Tom Dalgety, along with the band handled the production duties, which are very minimal and simplistic. In spots, it sounds like a high-quality demo recording, rather than a proper studio recording.
Praised by heavy-hitters such as Jimmy Page and Dave Grohl (who famously played drums on their 2003 self-titled album), Killing Joke has not been without hardship. Bassist Paul Raven died in 2007, and a slew of ever-changing lineups occurred frequently throughout the 80s and 90s, seeing Jaz and Geordie as the constants. The recently reunited lineup sounds inspired, and eager to compose and perform new, quality music.
Someone described Killing Joke’s music as “the sound of the Earth vomiting”. Interesting comparison, however, while it may not be for everyone, the music hardly sounds like anything vomiting. The fact that a band that’s been around the better part of 40 years can still deliver good, hard music, and still sound genuine in their efforts speaks volumes about their musicianship. They may not ever have been, nor ever will be radio darlings, but they continue to provide great examples of anti-mainstream punk, and new-wave inspired rock. I love it when old bands still kick ass.
01 Autonomous Zone
02 Dawn Of The Hive
03 New Cold War
05 New Jerusalem
06 War On Freedom
07 Big Buzz
09 I Am The Virus
10 Into The Unknown