Killing Joke is back. Again. Since the reformation of the original line up for 2010’s Absolute Dissent, Killing Joke has continued to impress, surprise, and grow stronger as a band which is a feat unto itself for any outfit together for almost 40 years. On Pylon, their sixteenth studio album, they complete the trilogy (With 2012’s MMXIII sandwiched in there) with perhaps their most masterfully executed album to date.
Killing Joke is the kind of band where you could do an in-depth piece on each an every song they choose to place on an album. They’re all equally that dense (Have you read front man Jaz Coleman’s book, Letters From Cythera?). Here is no exception. Of the trilogy, Pylon is the strongest, most interesting, and most diverse of the bunch with “Autonomous Zone” (And Youth’s bass fills) as a battle cry opening the album replete with Pandemonium-style keys mixing elements of “The Death And Resurrection Show” and “Absolute Dissent”‘s triumphant tone.
In KJ’s defense, the band doesn’t mean to craft these masterful singles but somehow they always do. As far back as “Eighties” on Night Time or even “You’ll Never Get To Me” on the aggressive Killing Joke, KJ historically writes the best non-single singles. Pylon is no exception with “Euphoria” being this 4+ minute opus of pure Pop serenity. It practically glistens! Even a song like “Big Buzz” with its militaristic beats (Courtesy of Paul Ferguson) has this HUGE sweeping chorus that’ll immediately make you well up.
But fear not loyal gatherers! Jaz still sounds like that same crazed lunatic and it shows on new cuts like “Delete” which is filled with this nervous anticipation/anxiety. However, if you want full on apocalyptical KJ madness then “I Am The Virus” is for you. It’s simply the best choice for a first “single” and best choice to introduce/re-introduce the world to Killing Joke as Coleman spews lines like “I am The Fury/The Spirit of Outrage/I Am The Virus/I Am The Virus” with visceral intent.
“Into The Unknown”, though, is probably the be all/end all in terms of Killing Joke sounding like the tag “the sound of the earth vomiting”. It’s a fitting end to Pylon and sounds like nothing the band has ever laid down (Which in almost 40 years together is astonishing) as Geordie Walker unleashes a sound and fury through his guitar unheard previously.
Pylon is out through Spinefarm Records on October 23rd. You can pre-order through Pledgemusic here, through Amazon here, and through Itunes here. And more importantly, head on over here to see where you can catch this legendary band live in North America and Europe in 2016.