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4.71 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1980

Filed under Non-Metal


1. Requiem (3:44)
2. Wardance (3:46)
3. Tomorrow's World (5:25)
4. Bloodsport (4:44)
5. The Wait (3:40)
6. Complications (3:06)
7. Change (3:59)
8. S.O.36 (6:30)
9. Primitive (3:32)


- Jaz Coleman / vocals and synthesizer
- Kevin "Geordie" Walker / guitar
- Martin "Youth" Glover / bass guitar
- Paul Ferguson / drums and vocals

About this release

E.G. Records

Thanks to tupan for the addition and VerticalUprising, Unitron, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

The first Killing Joke album is a true grab-bag of influences from the post-punk musical landscape. A gothic tone here, an industrial snarl there, and a dense, dark musical landscape suggested by the likes of Metal Box-era Public Image Limited, this would almost be a gothic rock album except it never, ever veers into the romanticism or poetry that gothic music often dabbles in - it's too bitter, too jaded, too hopeless even for that mild escapism. In this respect it's reminiscent of the harsh, stripped-down sound of the debut by Siouxsie and the Banshees, which it sounds like an infinitely uglier continuation of.

Members reviews

Let's talk about Killing Joke!

It wasn't that long ago that I was completely oblivious to their existence...well maybe with the exception of Danny Carey mentioning "Extremities, Dirt And Various Repressed Emotions" as one of his all time favorite albums. I began my exploration of the band with their 1985 classic "Night Time", which was definitely an excellent starting point of our relationship and I have since then acquired a few more of the Killing Joke releases.

Initially I was a bit skeptical of exploring the early post-punk records fearing that the music would be a complete disappointment to me. Luckily it was anything but that and the band's self-titled debut album was an excellent proof of just that. This 40 minute album is a pretty raw release with a very strong groove created by the band's rhythmic section featuring Martin "Youth" Glover on bass and Paul Ferguson on drums. Actually, I really think that both the vocalist Jaz Coleman and guitarist Kevin "Geordie" Walker are surprisingly low down in the mix, but I guess that it's for the better since the sound of this album would have been a lot more low-fi with them front and center.

There is really nothing complicated with this release and most of the compositions are as straightforward as they can get, but the rhythm really manages to grab a hold of me whenever I listen to tracks like "Wardance", "The Wait", "Complications", "Change"... well pretty much all of them! Overall, this recording definitely shows that the band members knew their strengths and weaknesses from the get-go so there aren't really any moments that feel all too surprising, but that doesn't mean that I love it any less.

Killing Joke, the debut album, is exactly the kind of record that bands should aim for whenever releasing a debut recording. This is definitely the type of statement that manages to cover a lot of ground but without actually feeling like there is a lack of direction. On contrary, this is probably one of the more straightforward recordings that Killing Joke have released over the course of their 30+ years as a band. Highly recommended to fans of groovy and raw rock music!

***** star songs: Requiem (3:44) Bloodsport (4:45) Complications (3:06) Change (4:00)

**** star songs: Wardance (3:46) Tomorrow's World (5:29) The Wait (3:42) S.O.36 (6:53) Primitive (3:36)

Ratings only

  • Nightfly
  • Unitron
  • kx1992
  • Nazar_Sergijovych

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