Killing Joke - 'Killing Joke'  Malicious Damage (EGMD 5.45, 1980)

Rising to prominence in the 1980s, Killing Joke and their eponymous debut captured the genuine disillusioned hysteria felt by many throughout Thatcher’s Britain. While many groups of the post-punk movement flaunted themes of nihilism and despair, there are very few that explore them with the same frenzied sincerity of Killing Joke.

Famed for fleeing to Iceland during the red button paranoia of the Cold War, frontman Jaz Coleman jabbers doomsday lyricism within a haze of metallic noise and is well-supported by the driving rhythm section of Paul Ferguson (drums) and Youth (bass). With industrial funk (see “Bloodsport”) sitting alongside bruising tribalism (see “The Wait”), the album grabs and shakes the listener track-by-track, asking them why they aren’t panicking.

While much of the distilled prophesy and pessimism of Killing Joke’s debut can be said to have been unfounded 30 years on, it is easy to see how this diverse and intense record inspired some of the most important grunge and metal bands that emerged in the following decade.   



Graded using the Goldmine Standard. Graded conservatively, cover and media in VG+ bracket


Cover: VG+
Media: VG+