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2023 Albums Thing 211 - Killing Joke “Extremities, Dirt And Various Repressed Emotions”

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This album starts with the song that I was in attendance for the filming of the video that first time I saw Killing Joke, “Money Is Not Our God”. It’s one of the songs that, if I was asked to play something to somebody who had no idea about Killing Joke, would be at the forefront of my thinking. 

This is more like the Killing Joke I am used to. “Night Time” is great but it’s a little bit KJ-lite. Here we are back to battering ram riffs, earthquake drums and furious, slightly manic vocals. Lyrically it’s very much about raging at capitalism, consumerism, people as property, workers inside a system stacked against them, how humanity needs a return to a more natural existence, it’s pretty intense stuff.

I turn and face the sun

Then all my troubles fall behind me like a shadow

In solitude, Solitude

“Money Is Not Our God” sets the scene and subject matter for the whole album. Drummer Martin Atkins (PiL, the Damage Manual, Pigface and now the Joke) and bass-man Youth lay down a pounding foundation. Geordie Walker string scrapes into rolling guitar riff. Jaz Coleman’s voice ranges from normality at the start to downright deranged by the time we reach the chorus. 

Do you grovel to your master? Do you beg like a dog?

First things first, repeat to yourself

AHHH MONEY!, Money is not our GOD!

He’s raging against hoarding wealth (“So busy trying to make a living i forget about life”) and advocating a return to nature and an appreciation of the natural world 

MINE! The best things in life are free

MINE! I own the beach and the blazing sunset

MINE! I own the waves and the fresh air

MINE! I drink the milk of the stars in this beautiful moment


All very hippy for these heavy, heavy Punk rockers. “Age Of Greed” does exactly what the title suggests, a driving backing track over which Jaz screams his manifesto (“Your money, my time, Your stinking industrial bathwater, my wine”). “Inside The Termite Mound” likens people working their lives away to Termites serving the mound. “Solitude” has him wantimg to be separated from the modern world to find his peace alone.

If you are looking for melody and light you’ll not find it here. If you want fast and furious coupled to righteous ire step this way.

Money Is Not Our God - https://youtu.be/0vVDWQlHLOE?si=A4T0Kd7VXN3q-QyQ

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