Oct. 23, 2003

Killing Joke Has Last Laugh

By Randy J. Klodz

Though it has been nearly a decade since the U.K.-native punk-grunge vets Killing Joke released an album, the wait ended in August when the band released the second self-titled album of its catalog. Killing Joke will also be playing its first Chicago date in years on Nov. 1 at Metro.

With its original line-up in tact, Killing Joke—which includes Jaz Coleman on vocals, Geordie Walker on guitar and Youth Glover on bass—hired guns Andy Gill to play guitars and ex-Nirvana drummer/current Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl to man the drum kit on the album.

The album starts with a 7-minute barrage that is “The Death & Resurrection Show” with its “Burn burn, burn brightly / Burn burn white heat” repeated vocals behind a wall of grungy guitars and stomping drum beats. And with Coleman’s “Burn brightly” the rest of the album glows like a piece of iron pulled from a fire.

Released as the album’s initial single, “Loose Cannon” begins with a bouncy keyboard intro, then slowly erupts into a Tool-like guitar intro with Coleman’s brooding “I’m a loose cannon” vocals.

Perhaps the only song on the record that won’t have punksters and metalheads across the world banging their heads is “You’ll Never Get to Me,” which sounds more like track that would be found on a U2 album, than a heavy Killing Joke album. But this is taken in stride, as it’s a pleasure to find a mellow song on a heavy album without the gesture of appearing forced.

Metro is at 3730 N. Clark St. Tickets for this 18+ event are listed for $15 each, with a show start time slated for 9 p.m. The popular heavy-rock band Amen is scheduled to open the show. For more information on the band view www.killingjoke.com.

Killing Joke Photo: Zuma Recordings