Monday, 26 October 2015

Killing Joke "Pylon" (2015)

Thirty five years since their debut, "Killing Joke" are still at it. Their first two records a real pleasure to uncover and hear an early influence on Industrial Metal such as "Ministry" and "Godflesh". Unable to get into their third record "Revelations" I left this band alone and nearly passed this record by when I saw it in my feed. I wasn't expecting anything much but was quite surprised to find their identity intact, mostly thanks to Jaz Coleman's distinctive voice. An apparent shift in aesthetic and execution gives a refreshing overhaul to the vibe and themes that stay very much intact from their roots.

"Pylon" is a warning machine on cruise control, each song swiftly flying through the wasteland of a post apocalyptic world, with social commentaries and observations on the state of our modern society, its direction and corruptions. Its a message of doom and gloom broadcasted from the loudspeakers of a steadily paced set of songs that cruise onward and drone with big, fuzzy chord driven distortion guitars and one dimensional synths that play subtle roles in amplifying the atmosphere. Coleman's anthemic cries of disillusion and unrest tie the music to the lyrical themes with alterations in delivery to match the musical shifts that are present in every song.

Its a simple approach to songwriting coupled with a great aesthetic. The guitars are warm and dense, the drums have a fantastic, punchy, loud yet soft tone. The bass guitar thick, powerful, pounding away under the hazy wall of sound guitars and Coleman's voice is colorful, smooth and darkly. Select keys and electronics play a potent role in adding that extra layer to amplify moments of the songs. The overall mood and tone is definitely on the gloomy side yet when tackled head on by the music feels empowering and uplifting, all without exerting any forceful aggression. An easy flowing listen with a big mood and messages to deliver. Solid record.

Favorite Songs: New Cold War, War On Freedom, Into The Unknown
Rating: 7/10