Archive for Killing Joke

Deals & Steals: That’s a Lotta Vikings!

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2013 by Lightning Slim

220px-Battle_Sluts  Bit of a Nordic influence this time out (again!), and certainly some good tunes found at good prices. This first lot was found at Second Spin:

Leaves Eyes – Vinland Saga $8.99. Moody conceptual stuff about Leif Eriksson’s travels and exploration.

Soilwork – Stabbing the Drama $8.99. Slowly filling in my back catalogue of these Gothenburgers and In Flames BFFs.

At the Gates – Slaughter of the Soul $4.49. Speaking of Gothenburg, there wasn’t an identifiable scene until this album melted everyone’s faces.

Dark Tranquillity – Character $2.49. One of their best.

Destroy Destroy Destroy – Battle Sluts $5.00. Actually an American band. But that title! Sounds like Cradle of Filth meets Manowar. Perfect touring partner for 3iob.

Not Viking but a bit Scottish (and awesome):

Murder Inc. – Locate Subvert Terminate: The Complete Murder Inc. $3.99. So nice to hear a remaster of this marvelous Killing Joke side project with Chris Connelly. Behold, Scot-industrial rap:

And in the super-bargain category, some finds from the local thrift store. Each were only one or two bucks apiece!

Green Day – American Idiot. Overplayed? True. Overplayed because actually very good? Also true.

Promonium Jesters – Time and Place. I once saw these Ontario industrialists open for Hanzel und Gretyl. Their recorded output has a steal-from-the-best quality to it, including some spot-on Skinny Puppy influence.

220px-The_Mix  Kraftwerk – The Mix. Worth it just to find out I’ve been singing the chorus wrong all these years. Still, fun fun fun!


Album Review – Killing Joke “MMXII” 2012

Posted in Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines with tags , , , , on May 18, 2012 by Lightning Slim

  While Killing Joke’s last effort Absolute Dissent mixed their latter-day grunge trance sensibilities with the spirit of their 1990 masterwork Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions, MMXII goes farther by grabbing Extremities with both hands and pulling it into the TARDIS, destination right now.

What emerges is filled with glorious analogue retro-power, the soundtrack for the greatest John Carpenter/Vangelis collaboration never made. All this atmospheric synth work provides the backdrop for a war between simple yet powerful hypnotic guitar riffs that more commercially successful bands have been pilfering from KJ for years.*

No band this old deserves to sound this good. Luckily, Killing Joke are more interested in what they can still create rather than what they deserve. There’s very little downside in this collection of great rock music; one con might be that it succumbs to a bit of that modern condition, loud-mastering (“Pole Shift” opens with a throb of Laswellian bass so profound that it threatened to loosen both my dental work and the door of my Hyundai).

MMXII proves Killing Joke are as influential and dangerous as ever. Highly recommended. 8 out of 10

*You know who I mean. One is named for some wee fairy folk, another for UFO’s. And there are many more!


Album Review – Killing Joke “Absolute Dissent” 2010

Posted in Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines with tags , , , , , on October 24, 2010 by Lightning Slim

  If you like rock, new wave, heavy metal, prog, avant-garde, punk, goth, dub,  garage rock, industrial or grunge; if you like sounds made by guitars, drums and voices raised in righteous anger; if you like music, Killing Joke says you’re fucking welcome.  Long the unsung heroes of just about every underground music scene ever invented, the members of Killing Joke have weathered storms personal and political, made successes of themselves with countless other musical projects and basically lived several full artistic lifespans outside of KJ itself.

Despite the pull of the larger world, the band has always managed to periodically reconvene to release records on their own terms, with results often divisive and controversial but never insincere. So here they are again, having endured the most difficult period of their career following the death of bassist Paul Raven, and they have delivered an authoritative and surprisingly uplifting statement of intent to carry on.  Absolute Dissent is the heavy rock bombast of their 2003 Dave Grohl fortified self-titled record crossed with the commanding presence of Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions. It has Hosannas from the Basement of Hell ‘s feverish trance states without the associated gloom, and even reaches back 30 years to the sharp, angular guitar textures of their debut. It pulls off the trick of sounding simultaneously like a career retrospective and a fire-breathing call to arms.

I sincerely hope that  Absolute Dissent is the vehicle for Killing Joke’s triumphant return to the spotlight and the recognition they truly deserve. It will be a delight to fans both hardcore and casual, and any new ones this record creates are well-earned. The deluxe edition of the CD has a bonus disc (nicknamed Absolute Respect) containing covers by Metallica, the Foo Fighters, Helmet and many others. It’s nice to have, but believe me, the original product is strong enough poison. 9 out of 10

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