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]

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Continuing our celebration of PopMatters' 20th anniversary, we revisit our 10 picks for the best debut albums of 2009. It turns out our selections were prescient as many of these artists have gone on to storied careers. Travel back to 2009 and see them again for the first time.


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