Killing Joke (The Singles Collection 1979 â 2012)

Killing Joke (The Singles Collection 1979 – 2012)

Czar

Sun, April 21, 2013

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$18-$20

This event is all ages

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Killing Joke (The Singles Collection 1979 – 2012)
Killing Joke (The Singles Collection 1979 â 2012)
Yes. They'll be playing the "old stuff" on this tour...

Heavy and slow, Killing Joke (at least early in their career) was a quasi-metal/ band dancing to a tune of doom and gloom. They eventually became less heavy and more arty (the latter seems almost impossible) -- more danceable even -- but early on they made some urgent slabs of molten dynamite that oozed with the power of thick guitars, thudding drums and over-the-top singing. The origins of Killing Joke lay in the Matt Stagger Band. Paul Ferguson was drumming for the group when he met Jaz Coleman (vocals, keyboards) in the late '70s. Coleman joined the Matt Stagger Band briefly, but soon he and Ferguson split to form Killing Joke in late 1978. The duo recruited bassist Youth (born Martin Glover Youth), who had previously played with the punk group the Rage, and guitarist Geordie (born K. Walker) to complete the band's lineup. Killing Joke moved to Notting Hill Gate and recorded their debut EP, Turn to Red, with money borrowed from Coleman's girlfriend of the time. BBC disc jockey John Peel was impressed by the EP and offered the group a session on his show, which became one of the most popular shows he broadcast in the late '70s. By the end of 1979, the group had signed with Island Records, who allowed them to set up their own label, Malicious Damage.

Killing Joke released "Wardance," their debut single on Malicious Damage, in February of 1980. Following its release, Killing Joke and Malicious Damage switched from Island Records to EG and released their eponymous debut album. The group began playing shows regularly throughout England and they gained a reputation for being controversial. Their artwork often featured repulsive or inflammatory images, and after one of their concert posters pictured the Pope blessing legions of Nazis, the group was banned from performing a concert in Glasgow. Despite the controversy, the group began amassing a following of both punk and disco fans with hard-edged but danceable singles like "Psyche" and "Follow the Leader." The band released their second album, What's This For...!, in 1981.

After recording and releasing the group's third album, 1982's Revelations, Jaz Coleman -- who had developed an obsession with the occult -- decided that the apocalypse was near, so he left the group and ran away to Iceland with Geordie. While in Iceland, Coleman and Geordie worked with a number of Icelandic bands, most notably Theyr, which would later evolve into the Sugarcubes. Youth followed Coleman to Iceland shortly after his departure. After a few months with no sign of the end of the world, Youth returned to England and formed Brilliant with Ferguson. However, Ferguson left shortly after the group's formation and moved to Iceland with Killing Joke's new bassist, Paul Raven. Youth continued playing with Brilliant, while Killing Joke's new lineup -- featuring Coleman, Geordie, Ferguson, and Raven -- worked in Iceland for a brief period. Soon, the group returned to England and recorded Fire Dances, which was released in 1983. Fire Dances demonstrated a calmer, more straightforward band than the one showcased on the group's earlier records.

For the rest of the '80s, Killing Joke continued to release albums, all of which failed to regain the audience they had in the early '80s. After 1988's Outside the Gate, the group broke up, only to reunite two years later for Extremities, Dirt, & Various Repressed Emotions. Extremities featured a new drummer, Martin Atkins, and returned the band to the noisy dance experiments of their earlier records. Following its release, the group took a four-year break. In 1994, Killing Joke re-formed as a trio with Coleman, Geordie, and Youth and the group released Pandemonium, a harder-edged, heavier album than their previous records. Two years later, the band released Democracy. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & John Dougan
Czar
Czar
Since the release of their acclaimed 2011 debut album Vertical Mass Grave, the members of CZAR have been busy playing shows, swinging east for a short tour and writing their follow up album.

The sudden passing of long time collaborator and producer Jamie Duffy this past summer put the band on hold for several months to mourn, reflect and memorialize this great asset to Chicago music. But now, CZAR is back with a new album written and a handful of demos recorded in the hopes of finding a label to release their follow up to Vertical Mass Grave. The new tracks, recorded and produced by the band themselves, head in a more brutal and thought-provoking direction.

Czar features members of Acumen Nation and DJ Acucrack, stalwarts of Chicago’s fabled industrial and electronic scenes. Indeed, Czar’s precise rhythms and dark ambiance point to these roots, but on Vertical Mass Grave the band detonated the limitations of any genre, opting instead for an anthemic, emotive sound that transcends time and place.

Czar pilots freely across the musical map - parallels can be drawn to the machine-like punishment of Helmet or Gojira, the skyward majesty of Jesu or Mastodon, and even the damaged melodies of Failure - but the result is not chaos, but a cathartic tapestry of seamlessly crafted songs, an absolute feast for the ears.

The album was recorded by Matt Talbott, guitarist/vocalist of Hum, at Great Western Record Recorders (Emery, Open Hand, Adai), then mixed and mastered by the band. The sound is warm and heavy, and begs to be cranked.

The first two CZAR releases came out on Cracknation, the label founded in 2002 by member Jason Novak. In addition to releasing music by Czar, Acumen Nation, and DJ Acucrack, Cracknation has functioned as a production house, creating instrumental tracks for TV shows (True Blood, MTV Music Awards), original scores for videogames (Vogster Entertainment’s Unbound Saga [PSP]), and remixes for the likes of KMFDM, Frontline Assembly, and Prong.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123