Anyone that knows me knows that this year I have been completely obsessed with listening to Killing Joke. I’ve listened to an album a day for almost every day for six months on my walk to work. I’ve even been studying Killing Joke albums that I loathe, the ones between 1983 and 1993 when Jaz Coleman had a bit of a breakdown of sorts, had his hair permed, grew a moustache, thought the world was about to end and Killing Joke the band went all Simple Minds on me. Bad times, bad albums… still.
I don’t consider myself the OCD type at all but I have to admit that it has to be slightly obsessed, to listen to stuff you don’t like in the hope that somehow you learn to love it. It’s like torture. You can browse both the good and the bad Joke stuff on the Dipity timeline I made of Killing Joke’s career here… or in my You Tube Killing Joke playlist here (which also has relevant bands in too)… ahem… Not obsessed at all.
I don’t really know why I like Killing Joke that much. Of course, everyone has the band, which for them just seemed to have meant so much, you know, when you were 14 or 15… don’t they? For most people I guess they grow out of it, or the band turns crap, like Adam & the Ants and Death Cult did or they break up or music simply starts to matter less.
All of these happened with Killing Joke, but in 1994 whilst I was stripping wallpaper, they got back together again and started making that strange discordant noise that only they can do … listen to Whiteout (spotify link) or Exorcism (spotify link) from the Pandemonium album and tell me it’s not the most noisiest fantastic din ever created). The latter was recorded in a Great Pyramid and has coughs in (like a lot of Killing Joke songs) dontchaknow.
I mean, try to these two live songs below on YouTube (only 87 views btw), Requiem (one of their first) and Total Invasion (one of the most recent) and they’re pure punk… with a hint of disco. Guitars you can dance to. If you wanted.
I relax to this (The Hum from Revelations). Killing Joke are my whales singing… my birds tweeting in a forest… by a sea with crashing waves…
And so, on the longest day (yesterday), Killing Joke have release an EP called In Excelsis (go listen for free) which I’m not so sure about. It has a dub track which is fun and Endgame sounds to me like Lemmy from Motorhead (no bad thing) but it’s not quite Killing Joke, or rather the Killing Joke I love which falls between 1980 – 1984 and 1994 and now ( please don’t listen to Love Like Blood or Sanity or America which are so bad I still get embarrassed for them). I’ve give it another few thousand listens before I pass judgement but at the moment… I’m slightly disappointed…
Anyway, I have been both worrying about my ever increasing Killing Joke obsession and at the same time writing a TV script (a bit like those wonderful Rock Family Trees show) to explain “Why Killing Joke Are Ace” to my mate Dave because I’ve got tickets to see them in October and he needs a little persuasion that they, and not Pink Floyd are the best bend that ever walked the earth – even if they did go a little potty in the 80s… I mean, who didn’t?