Q - 7/01, p.86
Included in Q's "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time" - "...The band backed its occult-inspired, apocalyptic message with tribal drums, rubber funk bass...and droning Black Sabbath guitars. A scary, slightly deranged sound..."
Uncut - p.1163 stars out of 5
- "[A]t their most progressive they kept pace with more lauded contemporaries like Joy Division, Gang Of Four and PiL."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1084 stars out of 5
- "'Wardance' has to be one of post-punk's finest anthems."
Killing Joke: Jaz Coleman (vocals, keyboards); Geordie (guitar); Paul Raven (bass); Martin Atkins (drums).
Killing Joke's 1980 debut showed much promise from a band that would continue making cutting-edge political anti-rock for two decades. Beginning with "Requiem" and "Wardance," KILLING JOKE is a call to arms against social ills. Jaz Coleman's gravelly vocals, laid against a framework of crunching staccato guitar riffs and light synth accents, give this album a distinctively goth feel.
Punk was still the name of the game at this stage of Killing Joke's development, however, and "The Wait" and "Complications" provide punk fans with ample doses of aggressive rhythms and minimalist metal, while "Change" evokes a smoldering wasteland, or a steaming and stagnating social mire. The tension is palpable in these songs; the band's artistic ability and ideological agenda couldn't be confined to the limitations of punk rock. KILLING JOKE is an excellent sample of the band's repertoire, while only hinting at its talents.