Killing Joke: XXV Gathering
Shot at the band’s 25th anniversary show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Killing Joke marshals up all the rage, disgust, punishing noise and blood-boiling volume that the band has at its disposal and let it loose on thousands of its diehard fans. At the center is vocalist Jaz Coleman, howling hoarsely and boasting scarlet makeup that accentuates his already shamanic/demonic comportment. Alongside Coleman is original member/guitarist Kenneth “Geordie Walker,” longtime bassist Paul Raven and new recruits Ben Calvert (drums) and Nick Walker (keyboards), each contributing to a massive wall of sound worthy of this most influential post-punk band.
Indeed, Killing Joke’s influence on heavy metal, industrial music and all manner of alternative music is estimable. Formed in late 70s London, by Coleman and drummer Big Jim Ferguson, the pair were soon joined by Walker and bassist Martin “Youth” Glover, and the band quickly recorded its self-titled debut, which remains a classic of abrasive noise-rock.
Three more acclaimed albums, 1981’s What’s This For?, 1982’s Revelations and 1983’s Fire Dance followed as Coleman became more and more fixated on a coming apocalypse. Youth left the band around this time (and later became a noted producer, working with Paul McCartney and Crowded House) and was replaced by Raven. Barring a few pauses, the band has soldiered on since with a variety of drummers.
If nothing the band has recorded since then has equaled their early 80s work, Killing Joke’s legacy has flourished —Metallica recorded “The Wait,” Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” is heavily indebted to “Eighties,” and Foo Fighters recorded a version of “Requiem” (Dave Grohl drummed for Joke in 2003).
XXV Gathering includes a bonus interview with Coleman where he reflects on the varied history of the band.
2) “War Dance”
3) “Song and Dance”
5) “Total Invasion”
6) “Blood Sport”
14) “Sun Goes Down”
15) “Are You Receiving?”
16) “Love Like Blood”