by Lex Marburger
I’ll tell you, I don’t mind getting old, if I were only able to do what Killing Joke has done. Not only have 75% of the original ’80s poli-punks gotten together (with drum duties by none other than the ubiquitous Dave Ghrol, who must be psyched to be able to play with one of his influences), but they’ve also retained the power and edge they had all those years ago. What’s more, Killing Joke was produced by Andy Gill (guitar noisemaker for Gang of Four), so the tracks are crisp, edgy, while simultaneously picking up the grime and grit that has always made the Joke’s music so, well, vital. If you don’t know the music, you’ve got creative (and distorted – oh, yes, distortion is gooood) guitars, winding like barbed wire around a clenched forearm. The bass swells like a surfacing whale, while the drums do something that’s synonymous with “thunder,” a word I’m trying not to use so much anymore. Over all of this is a voice savaged by pain, time, and anger, growling and howling about the sorry state of the world. And did I mention he’s a bit paranoid? Makes the lyrics more interesting, for sure. Looks like they don’t have major label support, which totally sucks ass cuz there’s no way this can get out & be heard by the people who need to hear it. What with all these bands trying to bring back the attitude of the late ’70s/early ’80s, I figure it’d do them all a world of good to hear it from those who were there.