Aug 7, 2012
Killing Joke - Duende: The Spanish Sessions (2008)
I met Jaz Coleman when I was 13 and he signed my CD Jaz and then my t-shirt be a man not a hairy arsed boy and then gave me life advice and he was the coolest dude. Hope they find him soon :(
Duende- Spanish Sessions is a reformed Killing Joke performing some of their best songs. I'd give at an A 'cause Jaz's voice is haggard and the band are incredible and raw on it. I'll copy+paste some Prindle tho:
Paul Raven passed away in 2007. He asked not for it, lest none of us betwixt thither and thou. But lo, with tragedy comes retribution, and thus the original Killing Joke line-up reunited for the first time since Revelations to tour the world in a gigantic space van with "The Who" written on the side. The result was this album: the reunited band's practice session! Kicking bleeding bloody arse on 6 Killing Joke (Original), 3 Pandemonium, 2 Night Time, 1 what's THIS for...! and 2 non-LP tracks, Killing Joke prove that they remain the greatest band of mentally ill paranoiacs in the worldiverse!
Geordie plays his distorted high-pitched guitar, Jaz sings through his scraggly hoarse throat, Paul hits the drums hard and on time, and Youth plays the bass like he never recorded two horrible techno albums with Paul McCartney. The mix is terrific, the set list is mostly on-the-knob (except maybe the overlong "Tomorrow's World" and dull-versed "Millennium") and the performances are completely top-of-house (except "Pandemonium," which finds a clearly bored-as-shit Geordie playing dick-around metal licks instead of the jubilant original riff).
The thing is: the performances are so strong and faultless (complete with the appropriate synth tones for each track -- including latter-day House Rave Dance Spectacular "White Out"!) that there's really no reason for anybody but Killing Joke completists to hear them! Unless you're just blown to bits by the thought of Paul Ferguson drumming on some Pandemonium songs for the first time ever, this is just another great recording of this great band performing great songs that they've played many, many times before. And yes, what's here is great, but it's also awfully disappointing that they chose to touch on a mere FOUR of KJ's twelve studio albums. For example, what in Hell happened to Revelations? It's one of only THREE studio albums to feature this line-up, and they pretend it doesn't exist!? Well it DOES! I've been there, on that album.
Of particular note are these points I am about to make:
- With Youth back in the bass fold, "Pssyche" finally gets its disco bass line back!
- Whoever sings "Pssyche" is unable to sing it with anything near the vitriol of the original. Thankfully, the band kicks the absolute fucking energetic holy hell awesomeness out of it.
- You can hear the three descending keyboard chords in the chorus of "Are You Receiving?"! It's amazing how many renditions of that song completely bury what is easily the most melodic part of the song.
- Geordie uses a cleaner guitar tone in "$036," somehow rendering the song even creepier!
- Jaz is incapable of shutting his lousy pie hole (or "Mouth") during the supposed instrumental "Bloodsport," instead taking the opportunity to share such critical insights as "I defend the right of every citizen to bear arms. Not to protect yourself, but just for pleasure!"
- Near the end of "Pandemonium," silly ol' Geordie sneaks in a couple bars of the "Democracy" riff! Oh you Geordie! You're always Geordiein' us around like that!
- There's some creepy descending noise going on in "Eighties"! What is it? A second guitar? A synth? Jaz shaking a fly swatter at the government-controlled mosquitos that are implanting violent thoughts in his mind?
- How in Dicksville USR is Jaz able to hit the high notes in final track "Love Like Blood" after he's just spent the previous hour raspily shouting through the shredded skin-flaps of a mutilated throat?
Actually, okay -- if you're as big a Killing Joke fan as I am, you NEED THIS. I've given you all the reasons. GO BUY IT! And let's pray that this line-up manages to put together a new studio album before Jaz runs off to Iberia to avoid The Big Conspiracy. 9/10
Posted by max