Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Killing Joke "Night Time" (1985)

Its the fifth record of our beloved Killing Joke, the niche Post-Punk, Industrial Rock band of the 80s and an expected return to form considering it produced two of their best songs. Following a duo of unfavorable records its great to hear the group back on track but this time in a new and refined direction. "Night Time" tones down the aggression and Industrial accent, dialing down the loud, smothering distortion guitars in favor of a more spacious sound that still retains distinctive qualities of the identity they created for themselves but with a more accessible sensibility.

Singer Jaz Coleman may be the one exception, shifting his style to a significantly softer, resonate delivery, melodic and bolder. He still retains his voice, but in moments sound like other singers of the era. Behind him the lightly distorted guitars emphasize on strung out chords plucked into atmospheric reverbs. They often drop out for quiet and thin synths to eerily drone in the distance. For the most part the drums and bass chime with one another, rhythmically clattering away through short jolting grooves that pound away, repeating over and over.

It works! And with better clarity from the production, the nosier moments don't cloud the listener. There is room to breathe and the bass's tone keeps it right in the front of the record, grooving away with a thick, vibrant tone. Song structures are nothing to marvel and if it wasn't for the two spectacular tracks there isn't to much going on. Its a record of moody vibes that sets its timbre and rolls with it through a soundtrack of cold concrete and rainy days. It elevates itself to inspired heights with "Love Like Blood" and the albums closer breaks to what feels like a different record altogether. With a different aesthetic, hard hitting drum pedal, "Eighties" ends on an upbeat note with a party, sing along track to pump your fist to.

Favorite Songs: Love Like Blood, Eighties
Rating: 7/10