So Killing Joke have been around since we were a metal as hell one year old boy. Formed in the United Kingdom, the quartet as they have always been, Killing Joke has managed to persevere through a few lineup shakeups and breaks, but weathered the storm of progress better than most. And in doing so, they’ve never veered far from their original post-punk heavy rock stylings drenched in political overtones. In fact, much like wine and early 80’s Volvo’s, they’ve gotten better with age. So it’s no wonder their new release, Pylon, maintains their status quo. With a large fist punching anything that moves.
Pylon, much like their 2003 self titled release and Absolute Dissent, show up to the rally with a Molotov cocktail of sound, filled and flaming with vitrol and fury towards the state of the world. Jaz Coleman, somehow, has not lost a step on the vocals, still seething with a raspy growl while finding an epic sustain of melody that fills the speakers and soars. And it is with this that Pylon finds a level up.
The production is very similar to Absolute Dissent and MMXII in which a huge raw drum kit pounded proficiently by Paul Ferguson, in what seems to be in a warehouse it’s so out of control large, shakes the earth. The bass is moving and thunderous as only Glover can provide but it’s the guitar work of Gordie Walker that is just stunning. More aggressive than normal and recalling the punk chug of Extremities: Dirt And Various Repressed Emotions while keeping in tradition of Killing Joke’s post-punk twang, Walker gives this record it’s marching orders with such track as “Delete” and “New Cold War” while Coleman continues to amaze with the normal badass Coleman vocals. It’s everything you’ve come to expect from Killing Joke in that they, even while middle aged and crazy, get better and better as time goes on.
More than anything, Killing Joke is still painfully relevant. In a day and age where even metal is safe and playing by the rules and cliches, Killing Joke knows a message means more than anything. Coleman and the boys want a revolution. And by the variety of music on Pylon, they don’t care how they get that message out. Whether it’s industrial rock, post-punk heavy rock or using any sounds and composition at their disposal. Pylon may or may not be our album of the year, but it’s the most IMPORTANT album released in 2015.