Lord of Chaos by Killing JokeRelease date: March 25, 2022
Label: Spinefarm Records
I have loosely followed Killing Joke over the years. My first encounter with their work was on the aggressive ‘War Dance’ from their 1980 debut album. The band’s sound was refined and redefined over the years and the delightful ‘Love Like Blood’ and ‘Eighties’ came our way on their terrific and arguably best album Night Time, which came out in ‘85. This new EP is their first new work in 7 years, and while you can definitely hear the progression in their sound, all the hallmarks of their early sound are firmly in place. It contains two new tunes, plus two reworked songs from the 2015 album Pylon.
The EP commences with the brutal sonic assault of ‘Lord of Chaos’, which definitely reminds me of their early material. And boy, does it ever mirror the shit hole the world has become. Witness these lyrics:
“Flash points everywhеre
And everybody’s scared
Complex systems failure
And the lord of chaos is in”
‘Total’ unfolds in a slightly more melodic vein, with bandleader Dr. Jaz Coleman’s affecting vocals lifted out of the musical stew of their trademark post-punk sound. It has a heftier hook at its heart, and of the two songs, I prefer it slightly more than ‘Lord of Chaos’. Both songs are deftly mixed (Tom Dalgety) and recorded and are best appreciated with a good set of headphones. These tunes set the stage for the band’s upcoming studio album that is currently underway in Prague.
The remixes are also awesome, especially ‘Big Buzz’, reworked as ‘Big Buzz (Motorcase Mix)’, which was remixed by Dalgety and Nick Evans. Emotional and even a bit scary at times, I can’t get enough of this remix. Moving on, we have the final ‘Delete, which has a full dub treatment courtesy of KJ’s Youth. Refashioned as ‘Delete In Dub (Youth’s Disco 45 Dystopian Dub)’, it is dense and dystopian and could easily be soundtracked in a YA movie about the end of times. We may already be in the midst of such an ending, as much as I might wish otherwise. And I would rather go down in flames listening to these cool tunes than waste my time on gussied up, artificial pop tunes from vacant bobbleheads. Highly recommended!