I’ve never been a big fan of Killing Joke. I don’t own any of their albums and the only material I’ve ever heard of theirs has been from those rare occasions where I’ve had to spend any time at a Goth club, or the cover of “The Wait” that Metallica did back when they were still Metal. Listening to them play live is an interesting affair because it reminds me of all the times I’ve been at a club or theater, watching an opening band, wondering who the fuck they were and not recognizing any of their songs. Musically, these guys sound pretty straight-forward. You have basic power chord-driven Rock & Roll that falls loosely in the Goth category because the singer sounds a bit like Robert Smith from The Cure, but not as miserable. Given that this is my first real exposure to Killing Joke in an official capacity, I have to say that I’m not impressed. Their isn’t new or innovative for me because I’ve heard more than my share of this kind of stuff over the years. In fact, even their in-between-song leftist rhetoric about putting Tony Blair and Dick Cheney on trial, etc… came off as old hat. If this had been an angry Punk band like The Exploited, this might have worked, but Killing Joke sounds flat and unenthusiastic. If you want me to get riled up about some cause or idea, you’ve got to put something behind it. If you just go through the motions, I’m not going to care. And while listening to this, I really, really, didn’t. From the sound of the music, the band didn’t care either. I’ve heard Reggae that was more pissed off than this. What I heard on this album was a glorified “greatest hits” package played by a bunch of limp-wristed old guys looking for a paycheck. That’s it. As undead as the Rolling Stones look, at least they put on a good show. Killing Joke put me to sleep faster than the last Yob album. Boredom, thy name is Killing Joke Live at Hammersmith Apollo.
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