· Publié le 30 décembre 2011 à 11h14
· Mis à jour le 30 décembre 2011 à 11h17
IF MANKIND truly is hell-bent on destruction, then what noises will reverberate around the void after we take our final breaths and abandon the planet to its own, pure heartbeat?
Like the armoured cockroaches crawling from bomb-blast wreckage, Killing Joke have spent the last 30 years providing the world with a suitably deep, dark, dogmatic soundtrack to its own calamitous descent into chaos, and as the momentum of the modern age gains ever more urgency, the band are once again poised to hit the philosophical nail squarely on the head…
FORMED IN London, England, in October 1978, Killing Joke was the brainchild of classically-trained musician & vocalist Jeremy ‘Jaz’ Coleman and drummer ‘Big’ Paul Ferguson, who eagerly recruited two like-minded comrades in the form of guitarist Kevin ‘Geordie’ Walker and bassist Martin ‘Youth’ Glover and set about establishing a brand new and highly idiosyncratic manifesto for reinventing the rock ‘n’ roll wheel.
Coming to life during what would become known as the ‘post-punk’era, Killing Joke were never willing to conform to the artistic restrictions of any particular scene or genre. Instead, they took a vast and bewildering array of influences and experience, and combined them to create something entirely unique and utterly timely. Pitched somewhere between the bullish aggression and bleak primitivism of British punk and the epic grandeur and icy detachment of German electronic rock bands like Tangerine Dream and Can, the band’s sound emerged fully-formed and laudably intense; a vibrant and punishing antidote to virtually everything else that was happening in music at the time.
Instantly endorsed by legendary Radio One DJ John Peel, who gave the band plenty of airplay before they had even recorded an album, Killing Joke were embarking on an intense evolutionary journey that would result in some of the most startling and original rock albums of the 1980s. Both their self-titled debut and its 1981 follow-up ‘What’s THIS For..!’ cemented the band’s reputation as a maverick creative force, and due to a penchant for using controversial imagery, the quartet rapidly became the most notorious band in the UK.
Fervently against conventional notions of politics or propaganda, Coleman and his band mates were merely urging people to question old orthodoxies and their surroundings in general, conjuring up images of an impending apocalypse with music hewn from equal parts of heaven and hell; but this was never a group destined to be embraced by the masses. Instead, Killing Joke steadily developed an extremely intense and passionate relationship with a very loyal and devoted fan base, a relationship that was to remain intact throughout the decades that followed.
As they made more records, including 1982’s ‘Revelations’ – overseen by renowned German producer Conny Plank – and its 1983 follow-up, ‘Fire Dances’, the band’s personal fire was growing and their momentum building…