Killing Joke’s seventh album Outside The Gate is a little bit of an outlier in the band’s discography. For one thing, the non-Jaz Coleman members of the band are in many cases either not present or marginalised. And for another, the post-punk is mostly jettisoned in favour of synth-pop. My my. Reissued on picture disc vinyl in an edition of 1000, out on the Caroline label.
Vinyl LP £18.49 CAROLR55LP
Picture disc LP on Caroline. Edition of 1000 copies.
6/10 James Elliston 12th May 2019
A very polarising record. It has always been wrongly dismissed by sneering 'music critics' as not worth listening to and forgetting the album has ever existed (as if anyone should listen to critics without trying it for themselves first). It should be remembered that this record was never really intended to come under the name 'Killing Joke', which may explain why so many KJ fans also hate it. But an open mind reveals this is a great, unique album—though understandably polarising and frustrating to listen all the way through. It has some real gems of synthpop songwriting on there, with a real grasp for hard rhythms, creative synth sounds and sheer energy.
The album's outlandish songwriting & production is grasping and addictive on tracks like 'America' and 'Unto The Ends of the Earth', in which Jaz Coleman seems to truly go wild without losing his edge. However, others like 'Tiahuanaco' come across like an unconvincing attempt to imitate a stage musical epic. 'Stay One Jump Ahead' turns sour with a commercial hip-hop blend that feels like it's been forced on the album by the record company. The closer 'Outside The Gate' assaults the listener with all manner of bombastic sound that may have made for great songs on their own, but—mashed together in a prog-rock style song structure—it just leaves you feeling a bit cold.
Wrongly derided—Outside The Gate is totally worth listening to and there is genius to be found hidden amongst the dud moments, but not enough to make it a brilliant album.
7/10 Jack 16th December 2016This album started out as a solo project for Jaz Coleman collaborating with Killing Joke guitarist Geordie but the record company got hold of the uncompleted demos and decided to release it as a Killing Joke album to cash in on the name. Jaz had to finish the tracks in a rush and we can therefore safely assume that the album is not as complete as he intended it to be. Having said that I actually enjoy this album - it's a little bombastic and pretentious but this only adds to it's charm. The lyrical subject matter covers a wide range too.
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