Killing Joke – Pylon (Spinefarm Records)

  Van Muylem    9 november 2015

Killing Joke is a post-punk band with a history that starts in 1978. I saw them for the first time on stage 20 years ago, so imagine my happiness when I was told I could review their newest album!

Sadly for a lot of people their knowledge of this band doesn’t go further than their hit single Love Like Blood (already from 1985). Some might have caught up with their Pandemonium album, but they have so much more to offer! And just to please my wife: Dave Grohl played drums on their self-titled album in 2003 (and Foo Fighters even covered Requiem)!

The original line-up is back for their 16th release and unleash a great mix of genres from disco to gothic and heavy metal! Nothing is classic, except in the classic Killing Joke way: no mainstream and nobody pulling some strings to keep them walking in the line and that is how I love them to be! So fans of the first hour will be very pleased with this new album!

 We start with Autonomous Zone: some bleeps before the nice rock sound chases it away (together with the great bass). The vocals are pretty soft, but the track is pretty catchy and well built up. Dawn Of The Hive gets heavier guitar play and a roaring bass. It’s more into metal (but still with some synth bleeps) with a melancholic vibe in the vocals. New Cold War is lyrically a very strong track, driven by the right vocals and supported by sharp guitars. The Chorus is pretty catchy. I feel that this one could grow out to be one of the new Killing Joke hits! It has more than enough potential! Euphoria has more synths and is carried by what I call a retro sound. We are only 4 tracks far and this is already the second highlight of the album! I adore the catchiness and the rhythm! Old school fans will play this track over and over and some DJ’s might even play it during a party!

New Jerusalem is driven by lots of pathos, electronic bleeps and a very melodic sound. The guitars and raging vocals will after a while take over and give it a more aggressive turn. It’s yet another highlight! Another favorite track on the album is War on Freedom (and not only because of the lyrics)! It has a catchy sound and will be a must perform on stage! Enjoy it and play it loud! You might even scream along, so watch out for your neighbors! Big Buzz sounds very into the old school Killing Joke sound and is very catchy. It’s again a highlight and yet again I hope some DJ’s will pick up this track! The melancholic sound is really my thing!

Delete has a more aggressive and metal minded feel. It’s worth reading the lyrics! I Am The Virus sounds very special and could be reworked into a techno hit with just the chorus and some more beats! This one has the right tempo and sounds very different from the rest of the tracks. At some point the vocals are on fire, the bass sounds dangerous, you can literally feel the danger! It’s a very scary and lived through track! Into The Unknown is the perfect end track: enraged, sharp, up-tempo, rock/metal-minded … Question is now how will the next album be like?

I’m pretty sure the gigs will be a must see and I’m counting on the fans to carry out the strength of this album and spread it as a virus!