(From Playboy magazine, which apparently really does contain articles, November 1994.)
If you don't follow underground music, you may remember Killing joke only from the chant-rock gem Eighties, which was a minor hit and by far the hardest sound on MTV in its softer, formative years. That was as close as the Joke came to success in the States, but in its 15-year history, the band has created a considerable body of raging punk and industrial rock that has been pillaged for riffs by more commercially successful bands, such as Ministry and Nirvana. On its tenth album, Pandemonium (Zoo), Killing Joke combines the relentless drum-machine thunder of Ministry with the moaning trance of Led Zeppelin circa When the Levee Breaks.
Bass player and producer
Youth has spent a lot of time producing dance music suitable for raves (the Orb,
Briniant), and he sets up a groove here that nails you for more than an hour.
Guitarist Geordie Walker packs so much crunch into his licks that Kellogg's
should spray him on cornflakes. Singer Jaz Coleman does the punk catharsis thing
as well as anyone now howling, though his lyrics offer a good deal more hope
than, say, Nine Inch Nails'. And all of them have an appreciation for Middle
Eastern scales that gives the whole project a wonderfully eerie quality. Better
than coffee when you want to wake up.