Published Oct 21, 2015Is there a badder-ass band than Killing Joke that's been actively touring since 1978? Is there a more influential band playing such vital music over 16 studio albums that Dave Grohl felt obligated to play drums on their 2003 self-titled album because Nirvana copped the opening riff of the band's "Eighties" for their own megahit, 1991's "Come as You Are"? Answer: absolutely not.
The outstanding Pylon feels like a comeback record in the way that Carcass' Surgical Steel reinvented the steel recently (and Jaz Coleman's voice never, ever ages), yet it seamlessly touches upon almost every keystone of their storied career. Opener "Autonomous Zone" blazes out of the gates with ultra-heavy beats reminiscent of the band's eponymous 2003 masterpiece, and the pulsating "Delete" and "Dawn of the Hive" hearken to the majesty of 2010's Absolute Dissent. The hi-hat offbeats of "New Cold War" stretch back to 1985's Night Time, while the Junius-esque "Euphoria" might sit comfortably on 1986's Brighter Than a Thousand Suns. "Big Buzz" approaches but does not encroach upon 1996's Democracy, and "Into the Unknown" is darkly metallic, unlike any other song and a hopeful harbinger for happy returns.
Pylon is sweet 16 for these 50-somethings, and honestly, it couldn't be sweeter; Killing Joke are still promoting the driving dynamics of post-punk, and still doing it better than the rest. (Spinefarm)