Killing Joke

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About Killing Joke

Nirvana, Metallica, My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction, LCD Soundsystem, and Soundgarden all share a common ancestor, and that ancestor’s name is Killing Joke. The original foursome of Jaz Coleman, Geordie Walker, Martin “Youth” Glover, and Paul Ferguson formed in London in 1979 and, beginning with their 1980 self-titled debut, dropped four classic albums marrying post-punk’s icily dissonant guitars and swirling rhythms to startlingly apocalyptic dirges. It was a whole new sound, one that influenced not just gothic rock and industrial but grunge, heavy metal, and noise rock as well. Killing Joke were just getting started: In the ensuing years, they would blaze a path across the gloomy fringes of music. The 1985 release Night Time veered towards synth-pop, producing the hits “Eighties” and “Love Like Blood.” Other records, like 2003’s Killing Joke, unleashed industrial metal so dystopian it could serve as the soundtrack to a Mad Max flick. Though personnel turnover was the norm for most of Killing Joke’s career, the original lineup reconvened for 2010’s Absolute Dissent; this led to a run of records that updated their brand of dark sonic arts for the 21st century.

London, England
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