Killing Joke The Singles Collection: 1979-2012

Killing Joke The Singles Collection: 1979-2012
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This three-disc set isn't just a nostalgia-inducing reminder of Killing Joke's tremendous evolution since 1979; it also showcases the striking consistencies in the band's sound and ethos. The two main discs unfold chronologically, charting Killing Joke's subtle transformations over the years. The opening tracks, from "Nervous System" (1979) on, reveal a jangly, angular post-punk band with their politics on their (record) sleeve. By the end of disc one, we can hear a Killing Joke that have become more synth-driven and a touch more atmospheric. Disc two leaves the '80s behind, introducing a new, more aggressive incarnation of the band. Beginning with two singles off Extremities, Dirt & Various Repressed Emotions (1990), this disc spans more than two decades, culminating in two songs from last year's MMXII (with politics still very much apparent, while sounding a bit like a fusion of previous Killing Joke eras). Disc three, if you're lucky enough to get one, is where the more unusual material surfaces: soundtrack appearances, alternate mixes and edits, previously unreleased tracks from the '90s onwards. Interestingly, work around the time of Absolute Dissent (2010) gets a disproportionate amount of attention, with four "singles" and three bonus tracks. Perhaps we can take this to be an assertion of the band's vitality, as Killing Joke continue on in the fourth decade of their career. (Spinefarm)