(From Brainwashed, 14 September 2003.)

Killing Joke


No longer can any man look me in the eye and call himself a rock fan until he has heard this masterpiece of magical changes. This is no mere rock performance, but a curse upon the Bush clan and their corporate cronies, a fiery invocation to hasten the inevitable fall of the US Empire. For the opening attack the hardcases gather around the table and the game is big picture. "The Death and Resurrection Show" sets the scene with an irresistably thunderous tribal dance beat from hardcore skinbeating primitive Dave Grohl, a simply devastating give up ultimatum to false metal guitarists from Geordie and some of the most important imagery to ever be transmitted via the rock medium from the much maligned and misunderstood genius Jaz Coleman. Next, a hesitant woman of liberty asks how we can go up against the government and decides we must all rise at once. Jaz is up for trying to inspire us to do so, and "Total Invasion" lays it on the line for the liars who blaspheme our names in the infinitely cancerous pursuit of profit. Fireblast riffs and collapsing skyscraper drums lumber asunder as Jaz strangles lizards from his throat to exorcise the Bush-pig demons and lay them in the dirt to perish of thirst as revenge for the third of the world they are slowly, meanly, inhumanly killing to keep the cold blood gurgling through their hardened arteries with seconds to go. Next, Jaz assumes the form of an "Asteroid" which crashes into the ocean, flooding and laying waste to the proliferating homogenous technocracy. It recalls "Whiteout" amped up a zillion volts. Redefining cyber-punk, "Implant" questions the morality of techno-genetic hybrids and mourns the inevitable loss of diversity that is plunging the race towards eternal DOOM. Like "Asteroid," the entire song grinds to a halt several times for Jaz to scream his rage at the cold science fools and their deathsucking paymasters "You just want to FUCKING CONTROL!" Then the headlong rush of "Blood On Your Hands" orders them to atone for their crimes and paints a picture of a world laid waste by their idiotic short sighted greed. It would really be a swell single, and not just for the blessed inspiration of hearing the lyric, "Poison the water so only your GM crops grow," infiltrating wishy washy MTV land. This is far beyond mere MALICIOUS DAMAGE. This is the most precisely directed and accurately targeted distillation of molten rage I have ever experienced. And I've heard a lot of so called hardcore over the years. The second half briefly drops a rung into more personal head space. The arm waving wasteland zombie bop "Loose Cannon" recalls imagery from the dreams that inspired their seminal debut album and the circle is completed. Both this rather odd choice for a single and the next track reclaim and embellish the "Eighties" chug that poor Cursed Cobain filched in admiration. This is the only band on the planet who could get away with a lighters in the air ballad like "You'll Never Get To Me" probably because they have torches. Shame they didn't replace it with the rabid "Inferno" which closes UK copies, but has been left off in other regions for obvious reasons. The next single is out this week and is rock perfected to sum up the personal anger and despair at falsely mediated visions of a world gone mad. Your mission is to buy "Seeing Red" from a chart return shop NOW and shake up the fake money-love kiddypops charts with something of substance, a song up there with such classics as "The Wait" and "Pssyche." What feeling, loving, angry human could resist the joy of hearing a tune open with the line, "They're dropping bombs again, and they're doing it in your name," and continue with the ultimate condemnation of limited small town England tedium and ignorance. Grohl's drums shine, reverting more to Scream patterns than Nirvana. Geordie rips the burning sky to shreds with the greatest one note guitar spears and the bass line is a massive descending roll of thunder. The most harrowing trip is the eerie and desolate "Dark Forces" in which Jaz trawls the mind of a desecrating corporate ogre and survives to report the megalomaniac creep churnings. I wouldn't like to spend an hour locked inside those heads but Jaz is a sterner being than I. The final report the megalomaniac creep churnings. I wouldn't like to spend an hour locked inside those heads but Jaz is a sterner being than I. The final battle sees the fall of "The House That Pain Built" as Zeppelin's "Kashmir" is ripped apart and rendered a mere grunt. After pain we WILL have JOY. This is one band to empower the will like no other. Our Rubicon approaches. Lets all go to the Fire Dances once again. So be it! - Graeme Rowland