Less than four days to go until Killing Joke’s new album, Absolute Dissent, is available for download and I already love it.
Someone on Twitter said that it was all a bit meta, listening to Killing Joke sound as if they’ve been influenced by the bands they’ve influenced. Whoever they were, I know what they mean… The Great Cull reminds me of the Queens of the Stone Age somehow, This World Hell sounds like a Norwegian metal band covering a Black Sabbath song. It even has a single bended guitar note and a bluesy-like riff towards the end, which is dangerously close to ROCK for Geordie if you ask me.
And if you listen very carefully you can just about hear Kylie Minogue doing her breathy backing vocals on European Super State in the opening disco sequence. I reckon.
But then again, Killing Joke always manage to sound like more like themselves than anyone else, Depth Charge is a riff-driven punk anthem with old skool coughing up flegm and worrying vocal ticks. It sounds like he’s blowing raspberries in the opening few bars. I hope he is. There can’t be (m)any songs out there with a deliberate fart sound included. I love the synth drifting in and out (which should be higher in the mix) and Jaz’s distorted lyrics which are almost like a new Wardance.
The thing that strikes me most about this album is the thing that I like about all the best Killing Joke albums. It is the meeting of four distinct characters, Jaz, Geordie, Paul and Youth. For me, when that balance was altered it all started going a shade Duran Duran, until Pandemonium even. Youth’s bass is brilliant throughout, and just like when I was trying to work out how to play the bass lines on What’s This For? a lot of the time you can’t work out what the hell he’s doing, but you can feel it, it’s the perfect foil for Geordie’s uniquely thinned discordant sound.
And in Endgame, at the beginning are they singing “meow… meow!” … Go listen. I can imagine them in battered and burned Sylvester the Cat outfits with Jaz dressed at Tweetie Pie staggering out of a mushroom cloud of dust … for some reason.
Like all of Joke’s albums, I tend to be agnostic about half of the songs on each… this is no different and a like that. To me it means they’re trying, experimenting, getting it wrong sometimes.
If I had any criticisms of the album it would be that I wish, every now again Paul would up the tribal style he made his own for a few bars ( if only for old times sake ) and that Jaz’s “mouth of hell” synth sounds, the sort you get on the Pandys or Unspeakable is missing or just too low in the mix.
I also think European Super State could have been much, much cheesier, with a huge arms in the air intro (say at least 5 minutes)… and it needs disco hand claps… and probably hot pants.
So, here they are roughly in my order of preference…
European Super State
The Great Cull
Here Comes The Singularity
The Ghost of Ladbroke Grove
Honour the Fire
The Raven King