America [Extended Version] - Killing Joke, Coleman, Jaz
Stay One Jump Ahead [Extended Version] - Killing Joke,
2008 UK double 180 gram vinyl re-issue of Killing Jokes seventh studio album featuring four bonus tracks not on the original release. Outside The Gate was originally a Jaz Coleman solo album but eventually was released as ... more »a full-fledged KJ album without rhythm section's consent. They abruptly quit the band after it's release. Let Them Eat Vinyl.« less
2008 UK double 180 gram vinyl re-issue of Killing Jokes seventh studio album featuring four bonus tracks not on the original release. Outside The Gate was originally a Jaz Coleman solo album but eventually was released as a full-fledged KJ album without rhythm section's consent. They abruptly quit the band after it's release. Let Them Eat Vinyl.
"Killing Joke has always been one of the most underrated and under-appreciated bands of the last two decades. In the collective works of 10 full-length albums and several "collections" discs, there has never been a single US radio hit. Some tracks off 1994's "Pandemonium" received limited radio play on late-night programs showcasing non-mainstream music, but that was about the extent of the fame during Kill Joke's 17-plus year domination of the underground music scene.But within Killing Joke's repertoire, "Outside the Gate" is probably the biggest hidden gem. Invisible to the popular music world and disregarded even by many hardcore KJ enthusiasts, this incredible album is, in my opinion, one of their best. Since it is rather difficult to find, this was the last KJ album I added to my collection, and boy was I disappointed that this album has been around since 1988 and I didn't pick it up until 13 years later. Heck, I was only 8 years old when this album was released! But the incredible thing about virtually all of KJ's music is that it doesn't age at all. Songs off their 1981 debut are still as modern, if not moreso, than a lot of what is played heavily on the radio today. Killing Joke set the stage for countless bands to follow, and as a result, they are the unsung heroes who deserve the fame so many other bands received instead (Metallica and Nine Inch Nails come to mind).I've heard this album referred to as "disastrous", "a disgrace", among other things. To those of you who think that, I ask this: Have you actually listened to the album? The only bad tracks on the album are the sloppy remixes at the end that sound as if the only thing changed was the addition of some samples from the 1980's news. The first 8 songs are incredible and rank right up there with the unforgettable lyrical tracks of the previous album, "Brighter Than A Thousand Suns." Every track is excellent, beginning with the cynically pride-filled "America" and culminating in the mystical title track, "Outside the Gate." "Obsession" and "Tiahuanaco" are also excellent songs, though it's hard to pick out any one song as a favorite.Musically, "Outside the Gate" seems a logical progression in the life of KJ. "Night Time" and "1000 Suns" practically discarded KJ's tribal musical roots in favor of a more mainstream, though still completely unique, rock sound. This album began the progression back toward the heavier KJ of "Extremities" and "Pandemonium." As a result, the fans of the more venomous KJ present in "What's THIS for..." and "Revelations" might be disappointed with this album's musical beauty. But KJ transcended many genre's of music throughout their life, and this album doesn't seem out of place at all when you look at KJ as a whole.To put it simply, this album got lost in the shuffle of Killing Joke, and it is an album that needs to be rediscovered. It's fairly hard to get ahold of, but if you can manage, I don't think you'll be disappointed. Every single track could have been written last week, not in the big-hair days of the 80's. Killing Joke has withstood the test of time, and it's my belief that perhaps the world is still waiting to truly discover them."
The Joke's least, no question.
Bighairydoofus | Brooklyn Park, MN United States | 09/21/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is by far the worst of all the albums put out by Killing Joke. Heavy handed lyrics, attempts at rap (!) and other claptrap. Tiahuanaco is the only song worth a damn on this album and it's definitely not enough to save it. Word has it that EG thought the band was in its last days, wanted to squeeze a few more bucks out before the well ran dry and more or less forced Jaz to release this as a rush job. It shows.I had the honor of actually meeting the band at the long lost Northern Lights record store here in Minneapolis when they came through for the Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions tour. The band signed my (vinyl!) copy of the Courtald Talks, and Jaz wanted to know where I got my hands on it. I talked with him at length, he told me of the band's travails with EG, and he proudly played me the then new Songs From the Victorious City, his collaboration work with Anne Dudley. He was very proud of it (and rightly so). I then asked him what the hell was up with Outside the Gate. His sheepish response was that "they put too much thought into the album" and that the new album was "more from the heart". Jaz Coleman was sheepish! Can you imagine that? I think that says it all."
Clearly rushed, but still a unique effort.
Michael Stack | North Chelmsford, MA USA | 04/06/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
""Outside the Gate" is really quite a spectacular misfire-- its not quite as bad as its made out to be, and it has its strengths, but a bit of background first.
After the shimmering new wave/synth pop album, "Brighter Than a Thousand Suns", Jaz Coleman began work on a solo record, with guitarist Geordie along to help out. The record label heard the tapes, prepped release, and Colemand was forced to scramble to get the album done. The result sounds pretty much like that-- it feels rushed, incomplete, a bit spacier some areas than it should be, but there's other perspectives as well.
The first thing obvious is that the album is beginning the recession of the endless synth washes that the previous record had-- its still largely synth driven, but whereas they were everywhere on "Brighter Than a Thousand Suns", they're far more tastefully used here. Addditionally, Coleman sings in a number of styles, and the first signs of the roar he used to have on the older material comes back again. There's a fire to this music and a sort of biting sarcasm to the lyrics-- almost a dream gone bad for home and country. Some of the material is superb-- "My Love of this Land" is just lovely, a somewhat bizarre rhythm, and a great, wide open sound and production, and the title track is superb, a bit long, but a monsterous rhythmic exercise.
Now mind you, there's some spectacular misfires as well, "Stay One Jump Ahead" is just awful, beyond description really, and much of the rest of the material is either ill-conceived ("Unto the Ends of the Earth", "Obsession", "Tiahuanaco") or feels really incomplete (the otherwise superb "America", "The Calling"). And the remixes tagged on the end of the CD are really quite extraneous.
The CD isn't nearly as bad as its made out, but it is kind of clumsy. Still, after checking out other Killing Joke material, this may be a good place to look."
Mike | North Bergen, NJ | 05/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First thing that needs to be said right away about this cd is that it isn't the one to exemplify Killing Joke as a living, extraordinary, influential band. There are a few holes, namely in the two remixes at the end. Even parts of "Stay 1 Jump Ahead" and "Outside The Gate" can lose their hold on the listener quickly. But most of the album is decent enough to enjoy, sometimes. As an album that had to come out before Extremities, it becomes more sensible and a fair bridge between that and 1000 Suns.
Leadoff track, "America", opens with a heavy synth sound, which still reigns supreme throughout the cd. However, there's a slight pulling away of synths and hints of the leaner, meaner Killing Joke that would rule the releases that came after. "My Love Of This Land" and "Tiahauanco" retain the spirit of 1000 Suns in style and sound. Other tracks like "Ends Of The Earth" mix the moodier touch with a slight rage that would become heightened in Extremities.
As a fan, it is a fine cd to listen to. Not as much as their other efforts. But still it has a place in my cd shelf as well as a place in the KJ legacy.