‘The Singles Collection 1979 –2012’, on Spinefarm/Universal captures their ever-evolving story with a series of dark, apocalyptic songs, they have successfully combined disco and funk and a shamanic wisdom with the dark side of the punk fall-out. heir influence has been enormous, with an unlikely roll-call of musicians taking their cues from the KJ catalogue – from Nirvana to most modern American metal to many DJs and dance music mavericks… few, however, coming close to the band’s innate power. Killing Joke, with their original line-up of Jaz Coleman, Geordie, Youth & Big Paul continuing to hold firm, have signed a brand new deal with Spinefarm, and will soon set about recording a third studio album for the label, with Youth once again grasping the production reins. The release date of this new studio album is likely to be late 2013.
Back to ‘The Singles Collection 1979 –2012’ is released on three formats – DL, Limited Edition CD and Super Deluxe Edition. To pre order the Ltd Edition 3CD go to What Records. The Super Deluxe version will be released on the bands site via Spinefarm / Universal in conjunction with PledgeMusic. All formats offer a tasty prospect, from the incredibly creative Killing Joke, 33 career-spanning CD singles, plus selected B-Sides in full-colour card wallets featuring original artwork, you know the drill by now. but the quality of the bands work make this collection out of the ordinary.
‘Nervous System’ which is alternative, tight and just as bright as does ‘War Dance’ an early doors anthem, imagine dry ice, camouflaged make up, and increasing tension, as i remember Melody Maker once reported of the band, not too long after ‘War Dance’, you may have a different view of the alternative, but back then, it was muscular, powerful and just a little bit dangerous – think Savages upping and filling out their considerable anti, and you’re getting close, it also does not stop there ‘Requiem’ and ‘Follow the Leader’ both sparkle; before ‘Empire Song’ should make grown men smile, sigh and then most probably forget for a short while, but listening now with the politics show on mute, showing a sound tracked question time as David whatshisname comes to the question box, “anther empire backfire” lyric never sounded so apt.
Back to the matter in hand, songs like ‘Lets All Go (To The Fire Dances)’ and ‘Me Or You’ work very well, before another old and dear friend, ‘Eighties’ is still glorious sorry, but certain songs, don’t diminish, is your into standard bearers, this single was so needed and accepted, live, it was an ‘I was there‘ moment. Onto ‘New Day’ was enjoyable as three 15 ear-old friends in a Northern basement cafe, and believe it or not the transistor radio, played ‘Love Like Blood’ for the first time as we were concerned, thick as thieves in our own peculiar universe, the song resulted in at least three minute of silence, a bit like that Specsavers TV advert, “What was that”one of the three offered to two contented smiles, meanwhile the single went on to charm just about everyone, in our world, everyone, a great single. Not the first or last. It is followed by ‘Kings and Queens’ which is still of appeal, something with the at rimes, dis-embodied guitar, worth stating the band always I remember have very good sound, live and as you now expect on back then, multi-track. Also noteworthy is the vocal of ‘Adorations’ which still works well, ‘Sanity’ ruined an afternoon, in a young magazine’s life, long comes this what several journos said was a new sound, I will not bore you with the ins and outs, but I still, possibly to my shame, still don’t et this single, on the new compilation this is followed by ‘America’ and I get this landscape of Killing Joke, although not as readily as earlier escapades. But the first disc of 17 singles ends on a high with ‘My Love Of This Island’ which has a neat mix of Killing Joke DNA.
The B-sides which form the second disc are a good clue to some various tours collectively the help showcase multiple palettes, even the more experimental b-sides get receive enough care and attention. Wen your talking songs as good as ‘Jaha’, ‘Democracy’, ‘Loose Canon’, ‘In Excelsis’ or ‘Ghosts Of Ladbroke Grove’ a very enjoyable roam further into the Killing Joke world.
The Bonus disc is of true interest to music lovers. ‘Feast Of Fools’, ‘Sixth Sun’ and the demo of ‘Timewave’ all three previously unreleased from the ‘Absolute Dissent’ sessions. Then there’s ‘Drug’ from the ‘Mortal Kombat: More Kombat’ soundtrack, ‘Zennon’ an extra track on the ‘Loose Cannon’ DVD single. there are lots more with ‘Pandemonium’(Aotearoa Mix – Full Length Version) closing the ten track bonus disc.
The Singles Collection 1979 –2012, as I hoped, everyone expected shines bright as a testament to a true tour de force, influencing so many other tastemakers in the process. With a fierce intelligence plus a thirst for esoteric knowledge that matches a music that is visceral and almost spiritual in its primal spirit, Killing Joke are like no other band. Original music for three decades not bad, to review the collected singles is breathtaking. I am still in awe. 9.3/10