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Killing Joke's Worst Album ? (Expanded 2007 Edition)
on 3 October 2015
'Outside The Gate' (1988) is really a Jaz Coleman solo album, featuring Geordie on (rather muted) guitar. It has a big 80's drum sound, washes of synthesisers, and Jaz Coleman singing in an uncharacteristic, hammy, theatrical voice, and even 'singing in tune' as Jaz states in the sleeve-notes. Up to the time of this 2007 release, none of the songs have ever been performed live by Killing Joke. No songs were chosen for the 1992 compilation 'Laugh? I Nearly Bought One' either.
To my ears, this is not a very likeable record. Out of the original 8 tracks, the best song is 'My Love Of This Land', followed by 'Obsession' & 'Unto The Ends Of The Earth'. There are alternative versions of each one included in the bonus tracks, but the 6 minute instrumental (backing track?) of the latter seems like a pointless inclusion. The title track is nearly 9 minutes long, and is quite tedious. 'Stay One Jump Ahead' even features a rap section. This song is repeated as a 'Dub' version. If the latter song and 'America' were singles, they were not hits; nor were they likely to be. 'America' also appears in extended form.
The bonus tracks come as a welcome relief, initially at least. The unreleased 'May Day' is a decent enough short track, followed by the alternative versions mentioned above. The B side 'Jihad' is an instrumental which lives up to it's Middle Eastern title, but is unremarkable.
At least this CD has good sound quality, with 7 extra tracks, for those of us who are curious about the album.