(From the Los Angeles Times, US daily, 17 November 1994.)


Aggressive Industrial Shriek from Reunited Killing Joke


by Steve Appleford



The reunited Killing Joke didn't come to reminisce at the Palace on Tuesday, even if Jaz Coleman did close the night with the lyrics: "I'm living in the '80s!" There's a bit more irony in those words now, in this unfortunate era of '80s nostalgia, too soon, too soon.

This tour and the new "Pandemonium" album reunite most of the Killing Joke's founding lineup for the first time since 1982 (though Coleman kept the name alive as a vehicle for himself up through 1990), and could easily have been just another irrelevant blast from the last decade.

Yet while resurrecting the art-thrash-disco roar of its past on Tuesday, the London-born band maintained its relevance through the intensity of its performance.

Guitarist Geordie and bassist Youth re-created Killing Joke's signature buzz and howl through churning psychedelic chords and sheer volume, joining the grim Coleman to make a whole that is more Angst-ridden than later pretenders like the Rollins Band. That relentless industrial shriek has acted as likely inspiration to such newer acts as Ministry and Nine Inch Nails.

Killing Joke offered a challenging dance floor soundtrack for the Palace crowd, without being a slave to the beat. There was sporadic moshing and crowd surfing near the foot of the stage, but the music was often simply too murky to inspire dancing, and too aggressive to ignore.