(From Zigzag, UK music magazine, July 1981)

Killing Joke: "What's THIS For...!" (Malicious Damage/EG)

I know what THIS is for: playing at brain-crunching volume so you can soak your senses in its brutal, bludgeoning maelstrom assault. Their sound bursts at the guts with rage, venom and rhythm. If the debut album was occasionally a bit thin on top look no further than THIS for the real Killing Joke.

Instruments and noises tear at each other's throats for the best seat. You don't get the odd rest. It thrashes and roars, built on Paul's metronomic tribal booming and Youth's wrestling, ducking bass - a relentless foundation for Geordie's black-and-dekker metal guitar scrapings and Jaz's bomber-drone synthesizer punctuations and demented haranguing, not to mention several kitchen sinks. Dante's Inferno surfaces in a darkest African disco.

Only problem with this formidable combination is it's too big for me speakers! With such a battle of the overload and overkill you have to listen carefully to catch the subtleties, like the blossoming guitar melodies haunting the severe seven-minute builder, "Madness".

As usual the choruses consist mainly of the song titles repeated. They speak for themselves: "Butcher", "Tension", "Unspeakable" ... Greater variety in the rhythm department and a more pronounced 'tribal' flavour is evident in the percussion, like on the steamy "Who Told You How" or closing "Exit" (but the bandy Highwayman never sounded like THIS). "Follow The Leaders", the galloping 45, sounds great in the LP's context too.

I wallow in Killing Joke's sonic bloodbath a bit like I do Motorhead. Like that group, this album makes most of its contemporaries seem puny and silly.