This was one of my first punk albums, presented to me by a friend playing in a Danish punk band in the small village we lived in. The village is called Gedsted situated in northern Jutland and the band was Freshly Riots. I feel a bit lucky having listened to Killing Joke from the start of their musical carrier, they formed in 1978 and I was 15 when this debut album was released. I think this specific album had a big impact on me, a teenagers music taste and identity. My two favorite songs on the album were Wardance and The Wait at the time, but the album as a whole is a definitely a “Complete album” and hereby tagged as such.
Starting with Requiem, sneaking into Wardance and suprising with the start of Tomorrow’s World banged into the anger of a young teenager, trying to distance from the polished village family life and newly divorced parents. The music, the lyrics and the unique rhythm was a well mixed cocktail for unsatisfied youngsters. Especially when sharing a joint and some bottles of alcohol. Already when finishing side one with Bloodsport, the intensity reaches 90%, take the joint in consideration, flipping the vinyl to side 2 and starting The Wait sends it to 100% on rest of the album. Amazing musical experience coming from a young bands debut album!
It was recorded in August 1980 and released shortly after. The band is later quoted stating that:
We only wanted an engineer who can put his technical knowledge into what we want, the way we want it. He’s got to take us as we are”
As many similar punk, new-wave, post-punk bands, they recorded the album “live” in the studio and more or less in one-takes. With “no overdubs” as Ferguson explained in a interview. The album is supposed to have influenced a large number of artists, as Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden and Metallica.
Killing Joke has a remarkable discography for a post punk band, counting, What’s THIS, Revelations, Fire Dances, Night Time, Brighter than a Thousand Suns, Outside the Gate, Pandemonium, Democracy, Hosannas from the Basements of Hell, Absolute Dissent, MMXII, and Pylon. But they never got to the intensity and the beat they performed on the debut album. In my opinion. Only What’s THIS and Fire Dances became albums I often listened, but never in same grade as the this, their debut. I still often listen it now 40 years later – but normally alone. I guess it’s a kind of “either you love it or you hate it” kind of thing.
Jaz Coleman – vocals, synthesizer
Geordie Walker – guitar
Youth – bass guitar
Paul Ferguson – drums, backing vocals