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Killing Joke

Killing Joke (Zuma/Epic)


Every few years, Killing Joke emerges to remind rock young'uns that what they consider revolutionary is as reactionary as a Barbra Streisand album. The uncompromising Killing Joke features the original lineup of vocalist Jaz Coleman, bassist Youth, and guitarist Geordie, as well as later-period bassist Paul Raven and Foo Fightin' Dave Grohl on drums.

Killing Joke pummels listeners with fresh, cliché-free amalgamations of industrial, metal, and punk. The first song, "The Death & Resurrection Show," exposes other laughably watered-down attempts to triangulate the genres. Coleman bellows guttural phrases as Geordie's meat-grinding riffs form a doom storm rife with apocalyptic thunder. Joke isn't safe or sanitized; it's often uncomfortable to hear and grating on the nerves. But this same sense of prickly danger makes the album great and keeps Killing Joke relevant, challenging, and vital.

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