If Ian Curtis wouldn’t committed suicide on 18 May 1980 and Joy Division would be still around and playing, “In Cythera”, the leading single of the fifteenth studio album by Killing Joke uploaded to the YouTube on 6 March it’s exactly the kind of music we are probably expected of Curtis. Although, this is a classic Killing Joke album with classic sound, and with the classic line-up: Jaz Coleman on vocals, Kevin “Geordie” Walker on guitar, Martin “Youth” Glover on bass, and Paul Ferguson on drums.
Out on April 2nd via Spinefarm/Universal, “MMXII” consist of 10 tracks which will definitively rock your world.
MMXII – 2012 in Roman numerals, explores the 2012 phenomenon with political, anti-capitalist, and economical, social issues. It’s almost unavoidable not to think back in time of their 85’s “Night Time” and that radioscopy anthem: “Eighties”. 2012 seems even darker, neater and hopeless, still Coleman and his band mates manage to find traces of light to fallow and eventually there is a way out.
01 – Pole Shift
02 – Fema Camp
03 – Rapture
04 – Colony Collapse
05 – Corporate Elect
06 – In Cythera
07 – Primobile
08 – Glitch
09 – Trance
10 – On All Hallow’s Eve
“Pole Shift” is a dark, slowly building-up introduction to the state of the world today and the musical universe where Killing Joke find itself nowadays. And magically, they managed to be classy and looking forward without re-inventing the distortion, but use it right.
“Fema Camp” is the perfect example of an Industrial Rock anthem. Grinding slowly, it will stick to your ears and eat its way inside your brain to echoing there obsessively. The leading riff is simple, but huge, the chorus addictive and you’re head gonna bang further and backward on that pulse uncontrollably.
“Rapture” is dark and evil simultaneously, wicked and noisy as only Killing Joke can get. Ministry were explored this restrictive area of Industrial successfully. The final speed up is murderous.
“Colony Collapse” merge the dark vibe with the pulse of the classic Industrial Rock and we almost can feel the dizziness and disintegration.
“Corporate Elect” speeding up just to become an anthematic Rock hurricane with noisy adds on and intriguingly catchy riffs and chorus. Its the kind of simple and straight song they should teach in the school how to write.
“In Cythera” have a well defined back to the 80s dark-melodic vibe, sounds familiar like a forgotten ghost. Smells like a “hit single” – eventually. Although Cythera is an island in Greece.
“Primobile” remains in the same drowned dark vibe, even getting slower and darker, the pulse is quite hypnotic while the chorus rocking pretty hard, great juxtaposition of genres and sounds.
“Glitch” is Heavy Metal up to date: raw, grinding, unfriendly, a spit right in your face. Eventually a wake-up call if there is still people left to be wake.
“Trance” follows on the same path, maybe even heavier, more contorted and cutting edge avoiding all the nowadays fancy cliches. And Killing Joke – again – managed to be modern, even futuristic, staying the same. Very addictive track and even danceable with some nice, almost hidden Oriental aromas.
“On All Hallow’s Eve” closing the set cutting through slowly, building up nice spaces by subtle layers, pulsing bass and pounding drums, cutting riffs and the merciless voice of Jaz Coleman screaming directly to you.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is absolutely 2012 in and out, literally and… musically. No jokes, but killings.
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I haven’t listened to the album yet but the single sounds exactly like what they did in the second half of the 80’s. It’s still good but I prefer their angrier side (their 2003 self-titled album featuring Dave Grohl on drums is a total killer).
Killing Joke is a band always can count on. This is an album with solid hooks back to their roots, but they always had a pregnant Killing Joke vibe no matter where they adventured with the sound experimenting.
Actually, their roots are late 70’s post-punk. Their mid-80’s turn to this more pop/new wave formula was perceived as a treason by many of their early fans. I discovered them as a kid with Night Time and I still love it, but I prefer when they throw more balls into the mix.