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KILLING JOKE – ‘Pylon’ Review

killing-joke-pylonThe last three Killing Joke related projects have been available via the excellent Pledge Music website and the direct connection between the band and customer is a refreshing use of technology in today’s bland computer driven radio and streaming world.

The latest KJ album is relentless, angry, dark and uncompromising. The Joke still remain at the top of my best live band list and cannot wait to see them in San Francisco in January 2016 – They are currently on tour in the UK and, if they mix in some stuff from this new album along with the classics of yesteryear, the live experience promises to be as fresh and exciting as it was decades ago.

Pylon, piles on (see what I did there) and is a great addition to the last two albums, Absolute Dissent and MMXII which the band have communicated as a triptych of releases. In my mind, Pylon is the best of the three and, maybe one of their best ever. It’s almost as if technology and production standards have caught up with the sheer ferocity that Killing Joke bring to their craft.

The album opens with ‘Autonomous Zone’ and the static start with Jaz’s echo tinged vocals are replaced by a driving riff from Geordie. It’s like Wardance got an update and it’ll have you nodding your head by the time the keyboards come in like an alarm and Jaz speaks the chorus. There are some clever stop/starts, slapped bass before the rhythm takes over again and it is destined to become a live classic.

‘Dawn of the Hive’ comes next for another 6+ minute contribution and you can start to see why bands such as Nirvana and Metallica hold Killing Joke in such high regard. Some strong keyboards around the chorus add a sophisticated feel to the punk guitar.

Although, for me, the stand out track on the album is ‘I am the Virus’ a 2×4 to the head accompanied by an excellent lyric video containing an anger that is contagious, there is not a filler track throughout. ‘New Cold War’ and ‘Big Buzz’ work the theme of melodic vocals, driving guitar and the tightest rhythm section in the world whilst ‘Euphoria’ reminds me a little of ‘Love like Blood’. ‘New Jerusalem’ is totally different again with a reggae like beat interspersed with heavy guitar fuelled chorus.

With songs titled ‘War on Freedom, ‘Delete’ and ‘Into the Unknown’ surrounding the aforementioned ‘I am the Virus’ it is clear that this is not an album full of optimistic happy love songs…the Joke are angry and they are not afraid to let it out…’Delete’ simply persuades you to move whilst Jaz laments the actions of governments around the world – it’s a 2015 version of ‘Pysche’ and they have it sussed!

‘Apotheosis’ (available on the deluxe edition) features the ever great drumming from Paul Ferguson and quickly launches via Geordies guitar and Youth’s bass into a full frontal assault of the senses with eerie keyboards and a tuneful Jaz adding a vocal melody that is somewhat mournful – it’s six and half minutes of brilliance.

The band is truly at the top of its game and sounding fresher than ever and Pylon looks like it will be one of, if not the, highest charting album for them in the UK…they deserve it!

It’s simply a fantastic album that everyone should buy….

 

Stumpy – Punk Online

Track Listing

  1. Autonomous Zone
  2. Dawn of the Hive
  3. New Cold War
  4. Euphoria
  5. New Jerusalem
  6. War On Freedom
  7. Big Buzz
  8. Delete
  9. I Am the Virus
  10. Into the Unknown

Bonus Tracks (on Deluxe Edition)

  1. Apotheosis
  2. Plague
  3. Star Spangled
  4. Panopticon
  5. Snakedance (Youth ‘Rattlesnake Dub’ Remix)

 

2 Comments
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