Killing Joke - "I Am the Virus" (Singles Going Steady)

2015 needs the roar of Killing Joke. Grand stuff.

Paul Duffus: If this were a cocktail, it would be bleach and coke. And store brand coke at that. This is great, like a yowling demon who's just been pepper sprayed and is understandably none too happy about it. The opening line is "Death, misery, and tears", and it gets bleaker from there. 2015 needs the roar of Killing Joke. Grand stuff. [8/10]

Timothy Gabriele: I’m glad Killing Joke still have retained their rage in their senior years, but their 9/11 truther/anti-Blairite missives are being lobbed about a decade too late, are they not? The group’s early output is heavily underrated, up to and including “Eighties”, and there’s even some salvageable nuggets throughout their 90s slog into industrial metal, but this is pretty paint-by-numbers Killing Joke. Making this song and its cobbled venting into a lyric video probably undermines it a great deal by showcasing its weakest attribute, but even as a high-decibel rocker it’s merely adequate. At some point, I guess most acts just focus their primary attention on the fans who’ve given up on listening to new music and settled in on a small selection of artists they enjoy who will keep delivering sufficient versions of what they’ve come to expect. Grading on that curve… [4/10]

John Garratt: I was hoping, as I continue to hope, that the reunion of the original Killing Joke lineup will not suddenly implode again. Here we are with album number three (I think) from the revitalized band with "I Am the Virus", goo goo g'joob. And although it doesn't bring anything new to the table by recent Killing Joke standards, that doesn't mean that the world doesn't need more of it. I just regret that those responsible for the "Oil swilling / Guzzling corporate / Central banking / Mind-fucking omnipotence" will never hear this. Or if they do, they won't give a damn. [8/10]

Dustin Ragucos: There's absolutely no subtlety to this track, which is, strangely, the song's charm, if you could call it that. Killing Joke have been along for awhile, which surprises me considering that this song feels like something Enter Shikari might make if they had backbone. I admire the sort of throaty vocals and the rapid drumming. But, hey, at least you're not listening to Nickelback's "Edge of a Revolution"... [5/10]

Kevin Korber: At this point, all Killing Joke can hope do with their new music is not embarrass themselves. And they would have pulled it off, had they not written a chorus that calls for Jaz Coleman to howl the title repeatedly from the bottom of his gut. It’s ridiculous, but not in the fun way that you really want it to be. [5/10]




Love in the Time of Coronavirus

OK Go's Emotional New Ballad, "All Together Now", Inspired by Singer's Bout with COVID-19

Damian Kulash, lead singer for OK Go discusses his recent bout with COVID-19, how it impacted his family, and the band's latest pop delight, "All Together Now", as part of our Love in the Time of Coronavirus series.


The Rules Don't Apply to These Nonconformist Novelists

Ian Haydn Smith's succinct biographies in Cult Writers: 50 Nonconformist Novelists You Need to Know entice even seasoned bibliophiles.


Siren Songs' Meredith Kaye Clark and Jenn Grinels Debut As a Folk Duo (album stream + interview)

Best friends and longtime musical collaborators Meredith Kaye Clark and Jenn Grinels team up as Siren Songs for the uplifting folk of their eponymous LP.


Buzzcocks' 1993 Comeback 'Trade Test Transmissions' Showed Punk's Great Survivors' Consistency

PopMatters' appraisal of Buzzcocks continues with the band's proper comeback LP, Trade Test Transmissions, now reissued on Cherry Red Records' new box-set, Sell You Everything.


Archie Shepp, Raw Poetic, and Damu the Fudgemunk Enlighten and Enliven with 'Ocean Bridges'

Ocean Bridges is proof that genre crossovers can sound organic, and that the term "crossover" doesn't have to come loaded with gimmicky connotations. Maybe we're headed for a world in which genres are so fluid that the term is dropped altogether from the cultural lexicon.


Claude McKay's 'Romance in Marseille' Is Ahead of Its Time

Claude McKay's Romance in Marseille -- only recently published -- pushes boundaries on sexuality, disability, identity -- all in gorgeous poetic prose.


Christine Ott Brings the Ondes Martenot to New Heights with the Mesmerizing 'Chimères'

France's Christine Ott, known for her work as an orchestral musician and film composer, has created a unique new solo album, Chimères, that spotlights an obscure instrument.


Man Alive! Is a Continued Display of the Grimy-Yet-Refined Magnetism of King Krule

Following The OOZ and its accolades, King Krule crafts a similarly hazy gem with Man Alive! that digs into his distinct aesthetic rather than forges new ground.


The Kinks and Their Bad-Mannered English Decency

Mark Doyles biography of the Kinks might complement a seminar in British culture. Its tone and research prove its intent to articulate social critique through music for the masses.


ONO Confronts American Racial Oppression with the Incendiary 'Red Summer'

Decades after their initial formation, legendary experimentalists ONO have made an album that's topical, vital, uncomfortable, and cathartic. Red Summer is an essential documentation of the ugliness and oppression of the United States.


Silent Women Filmmakers No Longer So Silent: Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers

The works of silent filmmakers Alice Guy Blaché and Julia Crawford Ivers were at risk of being forever lost. Kino Lorber offers their works on Blu-Ray. Three cheers for film historians and film restoration.


Rush's 'Permanent Waves' Endures with Faultless Commercial Complexity

Forty years later, Rush's ability to strike a nearly perfect balance between mainstream invitingness and exclusory complexity is even more evident and remarkable. The progressive rock classic, Permanent Waves, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.