The

Mick

Sinclair

Archive

Killing Joke

July

1983

Sounds

feature

 
 
THE POTENTIAL of the writing amid the pages of this and other music magazines is sinking inexorably into an abyss of futility. Generally the choice is between earnest discussion and already highly irrelevant issues, the glorification of abject trivia or else the tedious anecdotal tales of some beer-breathed bore.

More and more rock writing is ensnared by its own dogmas. Burdened by its overpowering (and rank anyway) principles, its terms by reference have had their potency whittled away through age and misuse. There are barely even seems to be the strength left for a decent writhe of agony in the death throes.

What is crucial – and missing – is any injection of reality into the proceedings. The rock biz as a whole has become a cosy safe-house through which the participants can pass, sheltered from the wider worldly goings on outside.

With a music 'scene' cluttered with the nappy rash irritation of the new treacle pop and, at the other pole, vulgar (although highly laughable) forays into behemoth-sized fantasy – the prose that should trigger reaction is too crippled to respond and too blinkered to enjoy the gift of overall vision.

In consequence, anything that does assert a dark shadow of a menacing and violent reality cannot be handled. For a band stepping outside the insular motions of the rock machine, the spears really begin to fly.

Spending time on tour with Killing Joke just heightens (soars!) my awareness of these horrors. There is an excitement about them and their music which slithers out of the grasp of definition in the old rockspeak terms. 'Fire Dances' is a spleen cracker of an event and/but not necessarily a 'great album'.

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 

 

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