There really isn’t much I can say about Killing Joke that hasn’t already been said better by countless others. They are one of those highly influential bands that the casual music fan has never heard of and doesn’t realize how many of the bands they love were inspired by Killing Joke’s music. I was introduced to them as a teen thanks to Metallica’s excellent cover of the Killing Joke classic, “The Wait,” off of their monumental self-titled album.
Over the years, Killing Joke’s sound has changed a bit, running the gamut from a punky sort of reggae hybrid to new wave and industrial metal/electronic. It would be hard to imagine such seminal acts like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry existing without Killing Joke laying the groundwork they did.
Although you will find plenty of non-single gems in their catalog, this Singles Collection is a nice introduction to the band if you are not already in-the-know. However, there is something for longtime fans as well with the third disc in this set being chock-full of rare, unreleased tracks and alternate versions of other songs. This collection is also enjoyable in the sense that you can listen to the band’s sound morph over thirty years, but still maintain that apocalyptic tone that often makes you wonder if they know something about the future that the rest of us don’t. I hope this release will arouse the interest of music lovers who were always curious about Killing Joke, but didn’t know where to start. This collection should send you racing to get your hands on more Killing Joke music or it will send you racing for the nearest panic room. Either way, the band wins.