A new month is here, and with it come a few new things:
- My blog is no longer with Go Daddy in any form; my new host is StableHost
- The blog’s URL is also no longer with Go Daddy; my new registrar is Namecheap
- I have dispensed with the character limit re: comments; you may write as much or as little as you want
And of course, since this is also a new week, it’s time for this week’s Music Monday.
Today, KJ drops their latest and greatest, entitled MMXII. In honour of this occasion, a look back through the group’s body of work, plus a preview from their new album. Make the jump, lose yourself.
“The Wait” – Killing Joke (1980 album): Sometime between October 1978 and early 1979, future KJ frontman/keyboardist Jaz Coleman and drummer Paul Ferguson recruited guitarist Kevin “Geordie” Walker and bassist Martin “Youth” Glover to help define, in Coleman’s words, “the exquisite beauty of the atomic age in terms of style, sound and form.” Two EPs later, the quartet droped their self-titled, self-produced full-length debut in 1980 unto an unsuspecting world.
“Eighties” – Nighttime: Depending on your perpective, either Nirvana slowed down the main hook for “Come As You Are,” or KJ sped up the main hook originally found on “Life Goes On” from The Damned. Either way, the quartet — now with bassist Paul Raven in tow after the original line-up went on hiatus due to a perceived approaching apocalypse, with only Coleman, Geordie and Ferguson reuniting soon after — were hitting their stride with songs such as this from their 1984 magnum opus.
“America” – Outside the Gate: Originally to have been a solo album of sorts for Jaz Coleman, this project led to Ferguson being sacked, Raven quitting soon after, and the album itself being forced into becoming an official Killing Joke release by the band’s then-record company in order to recoup recording costs. The result: A critically panned work that shuttered the band while the two remaining members (Coleman and Geordie) extricated themselves from their contract with said company.
“Millennium” – Pandemonium: This was the first KJ album in my collection, having discovered them on MTV’s 120 Minutes back in the day. The album would also see original bassist Youth returning to the fold after a decade-long absence, while the songs tackled subjects ranging from HIV/AIDS (“Jana”), millennial fears (“Millennium”), and societal conflict (“Mathematics of Chaos”).
Fun fact: I actually performed the above in my high school’s talent show in 1995; would have had to pick another song if it weren’t for one of the teachers seeing a link between “Millennium” and “In The Year 2525″ by Zager and Evans. Also: I didn’t win that year, but let’s say a lot of people might still remember the performance.
“Hosannas From The Basements Of Hell” – Hosannas From The Basements Of Hell: Brutal and unrelenting, this diatribe of an album from 2006 would also be the last to feature Raven — who returned three years earlier for the band’s second self-titled album — passing from this mortal coil 20 October 2007 at the age of 46.
In closing, I leave you with Coleman, being interviewed by Ian Camfield, talking about the new album, their end-of-the-world party in New Zealand at the end of 2012, and the internal polarization of KJ itself that leads to albums such as MMXII.