Killing Joke is an influential English post-punk rock band formed in 1979. Founding members Jeremy "Jaz" Coleman (vocal, keyboards, synthesizers, and arrangements) and Geordie Walker (guitars) have been constant members. Regarded as one of the most significant bands to have emerged from the post-punk/New Wave era of the late-1970s/early-1980s, Killing Joke strongly influenced bands such as Nirvana, Metallica, Ministry, Prong, Jane's Addiction, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails, Foo Fighters, Econoline Crush, Faith No More and Korn-- all of whom have at some point cited a substantial debt of gratitude to 'The Joke.'
Original drummer "Big Paul" Ferguson once described their music as, "The sound of the earth vomiting.” Killing Joke's music typically consists of hypnotic, metallic guitars and heavy, tribal and danceable rhythms. Coleman's vocals are sometimes in a talk-sing style, sometimes a malevolent-sounding growl and sometimes emotional and melodic. Dark, ominous synthesizer loops and even sweeping, gothic keyboards (especially in the late ‘80s) also appear to varying degrees, but usually only as background texture. Geordie's guitar is usually well to the fore. Although he never plays solos, he has been praised for his unique style by the likes of Edward Van Halen and Jimmy Page.
Their albums have evolved stylistically from one release to the next, whilst always retaining the band's distinctive flavor. From post-punk and dub reggae beginnings (late ‘70s) they developed a unique tribal, proto-industrial metal (early ‘80s), gradually added more hooks and keyboards, got increasingly "progressive" (late ‘80s), then dumped that to embrace ‘90s dance elements and more recently a sort of tribal metalcore with many dance and industrial elements still in tow.
by Killing Joke