Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Beginnings of a Society Based on Our Lifestyle

Killing Joke formed in 1979 as a result of the punk explosion in England. "Big Paul" Ferguson, the original drummer for the band, once described the band's style as "the sound of the earth vomiting." Their sound is hypnotic, featuring metallic guitars and backed by dance beats. They've had influences on bands that range from Nirvana to Metallica to Ministry to Faith No More to Jane's Addiction to Soundgarden to Nine Inch Nails.

Jaz Coleman, the vocalist and keyboardist, stated that their manifesto was to "define the exquisite beauty of the atomic age in terms of style, sound and form." They started the record label Malicious Damage in order to release their music in 1979 with Island Records serving as distributor until they switched over to EG Records a year later.

The band became controversial as a result of the shocking imagery that accompanied their album covers and posters. One such image was a photo that had been taken from the Spanish Civil War of Pope Pius being saluted by Nazis. A t-shirt had been made with the photo adorning it.

After becoming involved in the occult, specifically the works of Aleister Crowley, the band had become convinced that the Apocalypse was near and moved abruptly to Iceland, where they became friends with the band Þeyr, one of the more known punk bands in the early '80s. The visit only lasted a few months.

Convinced that perhaps they were incorrect about the onset of the Apocalypse, the band started recording again. The single Me Or You? was released during this period and came out about the same time as Fire Dances.

There was a 3-CD box set of bootlegged singles and rarities released recently but this EP isn't included in the collection. Now you can hear it in all the glory that vinyl has to offer! Not only is the record really great but the type font created for the record is spectacular as well! This was a day and age where a lot of fonts created by alternative bands were hand scrawled, so it's pretty amazing. A treat for those with a fetish for typography...

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