1985, Music

Night Time (1985) by Killing Joke

Why is it that all industrial bands eventually embrace dance music? (Or, at the very least, danceability?)

This isn’t a complaint, necessarily, just an observation. But it sure feels relevant to this record, which is the must danceable Killing Joke album I can remember hearing. (Though it’s maybe only the 3rd or 4th album of theirs I’ve heard.) And it’s not that they’ve embrace dance music, just there is a focus on rhythm, and specifically rhythms that people can very much dance to. It’s not quite as extreme as the various industrial metal bands which have flirted with – and in some cases outright made – dance music, it’s just quite noticeable to my ears in comparison to, say, their debut.
And this is okay! Growth is good! It’s just funny how all these bands seem to grow in similar ways. Of Course, Killing Joke were always less industrial than their contemporaries, and much closer to mainstream post punk than any other band labeled industrial that I know of.

And that’s very much still true here. In fact, talking about this music as “industrial” is not very helpful, as it really isn’t at all. Rather it’s gothy post punk, with a vaguely industrial edge to it and, of course, danceable rhythms much of the time.

As usual, the strength is more in the aesthetic than the songs, though the songs are relatively catchy for Killing Joke, if memory serves. (And, of course, infamously, one of them inspired Nirvana – directly or not – which further inspired the false rumour that they sued Nirvana for plagiarism. So that song  you’ll probably find catchy.)

I like this style of music and so I like this album. I still haven’t listened to enough of their oeuvre to really know where something like this sits in it, but I do appreciate they are trying to grow.


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