Killing Joke – For Beginners

Share now:

Album Review by EDF

There are a few bands that people would have heard of but they would not be able to tell you anything about them. Killing Joke is one such band and are perhaps most famous for their thunderous single EIGHTIES, which is not included here. This track originally reached number 60 but has been featured on numerous 80’s and punk compilation albums. The band formed in Notting Hill in 1978 and grew out from the punk scene. This release is a compilation that serves as an introduction to their music.

THE WAIT introduces us to the frantic, sometimes angry world of Killing Joke. PRIMITIVE starts off with a repetitive bass as if they have something to prove. BUTCHER sounds like a product of its time but the anger comes out through both the music and lyrics. In a way Killing Joke seems to take a cue from The Clash and you can hear it on tracks such as CHAPTER III. WE HAVE JOY is purely repetitive nonsense with the only interesting aspect being a fire sound-effect at the end of the song.

WILFUL DAYS starts off promising enough with its Adam Ant like beats but as soon as the guitar comes in, the song breaks down to a four-minute band practice. NIGHT TIME starts off just like something The Killers would release and surprisingly the Joke manage to keep it together and not go off on another one of their meandering messes. This leads us onto the latter third of this compilation, which introduces the keyboard and an even better, somewhat epic, song structure. It seems from this point onwards that the band have finally found their feet and is actually the most enjoyable point of the band’s output, both musically and lyrically. It’s great to hear how a band has evolved and it’s a pity their earlier songs sound uninteresting and dated.

3 stars