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Killing Joke: Killing Joke [2003]

Album Reviews:

Entertainment Weekly (8/15/03, p.76) - "It's hard to overstate the influence of these '80s industrial icons....[The] brutal one-chord guitar riffs, pounding beats, and politically charged lyrics are intense, and the original lineup still knows how to rage against the machine..." - Rating: B+

Uncut (9/03, p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Impending damnation, tribal rhythms and riffs like avalanches of white-hot granite - this is classic Killing Joke....A triumph indeed..."

Uncut (9/03, p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Impending damnation, tribal rhythms and riffs like avalanches of white-hot granite - this is classic Killing Joke....A triumph indeed..."

CMJ (8/25/03, p.8) - "...Killing Joke's long awaited return is a juggernaut of epic old-school industrial proportions, worthy of the legendary name. Meticulous in precision, unmatched in rage, and sonically tighter than security at Boston's Logan Airport..."

Mojo (Publisher) (8/03, p.106) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...Grohl's pounding presence throughout the album lifts Killing Joke right back to their early records....The best punk album in years."

Album Notes

Killing Joke: Jaz Coleman (vocals, keyboards); Geordie (guitar); Youth (bass).

Additional personnel: Katie Summers (vocals); Andy Gill (guitar); Dave Grohl (drums); Raven.

Recorded at The Beauchamp Building, London, England and Grandmaster Studios, Los Angeles, California.

As Killing Joke begins its furious return with "The Death & Resurrection Show," vocalist Jaz Coleman calls attention to the drums, and with good reason--in addition to original Jokers Coleman, Geordie, and Youth, the album also features Paul Raven and, most noticeably, Foo Fighter leader/Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. As the heir to the throne of drum god John Bonham, Grohl is a welcome presence, elevating the band's sound the same way he did on Queens of the Stone Age's SONGS FOR THE DEAF.

The core Killing Joke members are also in fine form, with Geordie's fierce guitars backed by booming bass offerings from Youth and Raven. The pioneering industrial band's most varied instrument, however, continues to be the voice of Coleman, which ranges from straightforward crooning to a monstrous growl and even a Gollum-like sneer. These dynamics perfectly reflect Coleman's highly politicized lyrics, especially on "Total Invasion" and "Blood on Your Hands," which offer harsh words for a couple of unnamed--but easily implied--leaders of the Western world. In the midst of the buzzsaw riffs, however, Killing Joke also turn in "You'll Never Get to Me," a touching (yet still amped-up) near-ballad, and the New Wave-y "Seeing Red." Perhaps most impressively, Coleman and the lads revisit "Wardance" from their 1980 debut, revealing that they have the past in their sights as they take on the new century.



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