Killing Joke lurk in rock and roll’s shadow world where they weave with electronic instruments of mystic fire magical incantations and dark grinding musical shapes that linger in the air like Aleister Crowley’s opium-scented nightsweats.
I’ve been in on the Joke ever since I saw their epic performance at NYC’s Peppermint Lounge in 1981. Killing Joke is not a band you watch, it’s a band you become a part of. The zone between artist and audience is decimated in a pounding, unrelenting surge of energy and mantric mayhem. The apocalypse and resurrection in one blow to the head. Post-punk mindfuckers and proto-industrial metal pioneers, Killing Joke approach music like alchemy: it isn’t worth a shit if it doesn’t change something.
This video footage of Killing Joke performing at Philly’s legendary punk venue the East Side Club in 1981 is history, plain and simple. Not even the crude technology thru which these signals were recorded could constrain the power and urgency of KJ.