sun 25/08/2019

CD: Killing Joke – Pylon | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Killing Joke – Pylon

CD: Killing Joke – Pylon

Furious dystopian ranting rarely sounded so good – or so loud

An album capable of carrying a very heavy burden

Killing Joke are a band that inspire near devotion in their fans. Their 1980 eponymous debut is regularly cited as one of the best of all time, and they’ve managed two very decent outings since the original line-up of Jaz Coleman, Paul Ferguson, Kevin "Geordie" Walker and Martin "Youth" Glover reformed in 2008.

With Pylon, their 15th studio album, not a great deal has changed. The band show absolutely no sign of letting up on the raging fire and apocalyptic anger that have become trademarks, but it seems to suit the times a little better now. Perhaps the world has caught up with them – maybe we really are going to hell in a handcart. Perhaps that bloke with the sandwich board proclaiming the end of the world was right. One thing’s certain, if he’d made a noise like this while telling us that we’re all doomed, people would have listened – there wouldn’t have been any other option.

It’s a lively opening, with “Autonomous Zone”, “Dawn of the Hive” and New Cold War” setting the pace like anxious messengers racing across the darkened horizon with time against them. The whole thing is almost unbelievably heavy, not just in themes, though that is undoubtedly the case, but the riffs. This is noise to make the ground shake and scare the living shit out of the enemy.

“Euphoria” and “Big Buzz” provide the relative breathing points, the latter in particular is big, expansive and rousing. It’s the sort of music that could fill a stadium without falling prey to reductive, lowest common denominator bombast. Album closer “Into the Unknown” is punishingly hard, yet the metallic never outshines the melodic. That’s a difficult trick to pull off, but it’s hardly surprising they do it so well – it’s one they’ve been perfecting for more than three decades.

This is noise to make the ground shake and scare the living shit out of the enemy

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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