Killing Joke Archive

Killing Joke: Love Like Blood, Ghosts of Ladbroke Grove, Change (Live)

Normally, I hate when an old school band plays a show and subjects us to every track on their new (usually not so good) album. Strangely enough, the opposite was the case with this Killing Joke show. In 2010, Killing Joke released their first album by the original line-up since 1982′s Revelations. The album is called Absolute Dissent, and it is absolutely fucking brilliant from top to bottom. Inspired by and dedicated to former bass player Paul Raven, who passed away in 2007,  the album is a combination of the many different styles that Killing Joke has adopted throughout their 30+ year career.

The last time I caught Killing Joke was in 2008 when they did a 2-night stand at this same venue, focusing one show on their first 2 albums and the other show on their mid to late-90s material. So as far as I was concerned, the band was free to play whatever they wanted, hopefully leaning heavily on Absolute Dissent. What I got was a mix of Absolute Dissent and the first 2 albums, with some perennial KJ favorites thrown in. The band sounded great, though I think the guitar was a bit low in the mix.  The only complaint I have is that they didn’t play “The Raven King” which is my favorite track off the new one.

Post- show, I linked up with TSOI operative Avalanche for some adult beverages at a watering hole conveniently located next to the backstage entrance to Irving Plaza. After about an hour or so, Jaz and Geordie happened to exit, so I decided to go in for the autograph. I grabbed some paper from my bag that turned out to be my homework for the class I was taking at the time. I ended up with some scribble that I can’t really decipher, (Geordie wrote something about “Spacial Awareness”, Jaz wrote “You Will Succeed”…I think). They weren’t exactly traditional autographs, but when you’re a founding member of Killing Joke, you can write whatever the fuck you want on my HVAC Design homework.

Even though there are literally 5 million recordings of “Love Like Blood” live (I counted), I included it because scientific studies have conclusively proven that it’s pretty much the best song ever written. I’ve also posted “Ghosts of Ladbroke Grove” off the new one as well as the classic ”Change” from the debut album.

Irving Plaza 12/03/10
Tomorrow’s World
Love Like Blood
In Excelsis
Wardance
Absolute Dissent
Bloodsport
European Super State
This World Hell
The Fall of Because
Ghosts of Ladbroke Grove
Madness
Requiem
Eighties
The Great Cull
Asteroid
The Wait

Encore:
Change
Complication
Pandemonium

Download: Love Like Blood (Live)


Download: Ghosts of Ladbroke Grove (Live)


Download: Change (Live)

Killing Joke – Pandemonium (Live)

Killing Joke is one of those bands that I would see referenced every once in awhile in music magazines, but I never really tracked down what they were about or heard what they sounded like. From what I gathered they were an early ’80s political punk band along the lines of TSOL. My first real exposure didn’t come until the mid ‘90s with the release of the industrial rock album ‘Pandemonium’. ‘Pandemonium’, I assumed was an old punk band’s attempt to capitalize on industrial music that NIN had recently popularized. I should have known that the album was far too good to be a ham-fisted slab of opportunism. As it turns out, Killing Joke was a massive influence on NIN as well as on Nirvana. Nirvana even purportedly lifted some of their trademark riffs from old Killing Joke songs. Killing Joke’s ‘Pandemonium’ along with ‘Only Heaven’ by The Young Gods, another band that seemed to come out of nowhere, make up, in my mind, the last class of great industrial releases.

Killing Joke in their original line-up played two shows in NYC, the first night featuring their two earliest albums in their entirety, ‘Killing Joke’ and ‘What’s This…For!’ and the second night featuring ‘Pandemonium’ and early singles. I went to the later, but really wished I had gone to both. I look forward to investigating their earlier albums and certainly hope they are recording a new one.

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Download: Killing Joke – Pandemonium (Live)

Pic take by Tim Griffin for Brooklyn Vegan.