i played the hell out of their first two records when i was younger and they were as you say, very visceral. their later stuff sounded kind of polished and disco to me and didn't get repeat listens, but that early stuff is excellent.
LJ: funny you mentioned the word polished. right after hossanas, I threw on Depeche Mode's lie to me, just so my ears would adjust and unplug, recover, if that's the right word. I swear it sounded like soooper dooooper clean syrup or something. I had to laugh. hossanas earfukt me like no other. :)
I loved KJ from the moment I first heard them in 1980. Their music IS like a wall of sound. As Loomis stated, their later releases became highly polished and more like club music, even with the energy and angst.
They returned to their raw sound with the original members on their album Absolute Dissent. Fantastic songs, unfortunately they're unlistenable due to overcompression. No more textured production and dynamics from this point on.
57: I bought Absolute Dissent recently also. I haven't gotten into that one yet. But I'm really looking forward to hearing it, that's for sure.
I love killing joke. Can’t believe this discussion. So intense. Their self titled album is one of my all time favs. I will definitely give hosannas a try. Don’t forget that Nirvana ripped them off and they were super cool about it.
If you were around in the 80s or even if you weren't, check out the song and the video "Eighties." It's a defining moment for the band and politics in the UK.
Definitely don't need a high-end system to listen to KJ. But I wonder if there is a better recording than the Redbook "Absolute Dissent."
Will have to check out Hosannas.
Not sure why this would be posted on an audiophile forum. Countless bands meet those criteria anyway.
sorry you disapprove, psag. did you have anything to offer?
They were one of the first post punk angst bands to break out from England in late 70,s. I mean their hometown was Notting Hill, scene of many a bad situation.
Yes they had a lot of feeling to vent!
Yup - I discovered "Eighties" on the soundtrack LP from "Wierd Science". Yes, I own that LP and I am not ashamed to admit it. If you're an 80's guy like me, then this LP is wonderful. I have a couple of KJ LPs, always enjoyed them, but I can't really call myself a KJ fanboy. I was unaware of the Nirvana nexus until I read this thread, but now that you mention it, it sure makes sense.
i never thought of the nirvana connection either, but it is spot-on (allmusic actually cites kj as influencing nirvana, as well as helmet, ministry and soundgarden). the most frequently-cited influence on nirvana is the wipers, who were sort of an american kj and whose first three records should be heard by you guys.
I don't remember where I read it, maybe here, but supposedly that guitar riff that Nirvana took from KJ, KJ took from the Damned.
Gotta love how psag called this out for being on an audiophile forum while we have to suffer through a giant thread about Diana Krall. No disrespect to Diana... mostly I commend you for having awesome taste and bringing up and band and genre that doesn't get enough mention. Thank you!
in a parallel universe hi-end audio stores would use killing joke or fugazi for test cds instead of the inevitable diana krall or patricia barber
Hey psag, just exactly what were you thinking, man?
KJ is the best. I saw them in 1989 and they blew the doors off the Cabaret Metro in Chicago. Seminal, really important in the industrial dance/metal movement.
Anyone who sticks their audiophile nose up in the air about KJ doesn't know music history and doesn't love to rock. They are actually very accomplished musicians; look them up.
They have many good albums, not just a few. Try their first two, or anything after about 1995. That is not to say what's in-between is not good, simply that they tried a bunch of different styles and were sort of Goth for a period.
I have some of their older stuff on cassette and vinyl for years.
I also have Hosannas on weird blue vinyl and it really sounds bad, just a ton of reverb and treble/gain cut. I figured it was intentional. Maybe the CD is better or I got a bad pressing but yeah, I’ve had a few people check it out and grungy would be the word. It looks really good though. But always nice to find something new. Be sure and check out the one they did with Grohl (Killing Joke 2003) as it has a few really good cuts. It reminded me of their earlier stuff and packed quite a punch.
Be sure and check out the one they did with Grohl (Killing Joke 2003)
Agreed. This is a great album.
in a parallel universe hi-end audio stores would use killing joke or fugazi
Actually, in this universe. When I bought my first pair of non-Best-Buy speakers, I went to Saturday Audio Exchange, which is a Chicago audio institution (and I love their staff, all great guys). I brought a homemade CD of the music that had been driving me most crazy on my current speakers - too sibilant mostly -- and that included the Pixies, classic era Billy Idol (whose recent albums are way better than you'd expect, btw), The Smiths, and Rage Against the Machine (Renegades of Funk, I believe). Pretty sure I had KJ's The Wait on their as well.
All their listening rooms were being used so they put me in their main demo-system area and I cranked up the Monitor Audio silvers I ultimately bought, and I had the whole store rocking. People were sticking their heads out of the listening room looking at me disapprovingly, but most enjoyed it.
Anyway, it just reminded me. Sorry for the digression.
Did you get that, Psag???
The bassist "Youth" (Martin Glover) left the band and became one of the hottest producers in the UK. When he reunited with KJ, that’s when they returned to their earlier signature sound.
As a producer he was often hired to remix tracks for use in clubs. This was very different from any KJ material, but made him a lot of money. I visited him at his home studio in London and he was always stoned; that’s probably how he was able to produce dance tracks.
Very glad he returned to KJ.
a logical progression from kj are the comsat angels, whose first three classic records (miracle, sleep no more, fiction) are for some mysterious reason not widely available--more melodic and not as frenetic as kj, but equally angsty--think of a joy division with better songs.