Jul 29, 2012

Killing Joke - Brighter Than A Thousand Suns (1986)


Last one for the day: one that I was scared of and then heard and then thought needed defending. The infamous (but not infamous-est one, that'd be Outside the Gate) synthpop/new-wave record from the band who famously i) took synthpop/new-wave and then ii) metal-ified/punk-ified/noise-ified it, but for a few releases (like this one) stopped after the first step (i), leaving Duran Duran pop gone to hell or waiting for the apocalypse. Sound good? It is!

Geordie's guitars buzz and cut and weave like they should, and Jaz appears like a prophetic maniac: "Insane crusades, destructive gesture of the freedom bringers and all the bells shall toll, as holy banners fly and all will talk of freedom. Revolution – points of no return. Evolution – we cross the Rubicon"

Brighter Than A Thousand Suns is obsessed with mortality- like Tibet (I read), Coleman's convinced that the world we belong to is an empire that'll fall in due time. Like Vonnegut (I think), he often points out why he thinks everything's going to hell- Darwinism, war, and so on- but here he can't seem to see any sign of hope. People who've heard Killing Joke are probably used to his rants- humanistic or nihilistic- but here they're made unsettling by his lovely singing voice and catchy synth-heavy arrangements. For once it's all mood, no aggression.

If you haven't heard them before, don't start here. Get onto that shit quick though, they're the best post-punk band there ever was! If you have, take a listen! They make a pretty good pop-band-on-the-verge-of-a-mental-breakdown

B+

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