For all the bands I've seen come and go over the years, for all the ones I've seen put out one aberrant good record and then a string of garbage, for all the ones I've seen fail miserably at experimentation, and for all the bands who stay years past their time, or reunite and make a mockery of what they used to be, I'm very glad to have a handful of bands that continue to amaze no matter what. Killing Joke belongs in this category, and I think I may have found a pretty good candidate for album of 2012. If you're currently laughing or confused, bear with me and listen to this beast and tell me otherwise.

The term "post-punk" is most often applied to Killing Joke, and I guess I can agree due to the fact that I can't really do much better at pinning down their sound. The band has been around since 1979, and aside from the song "Eighties", and Metallica's pretty good cover of "The Wait", it's safe to say they've flown under a lot of radars in the past few decades. This is kind of a shame, because Killing Joke is sort of a band's band. You name a dark or heavy band from the past 30 years, and chances are they would list them as an influence.

MMXII (2012) is an album I was not even expecting to enjoy as much as I did. Of course I knew I'd probably like it, and maybe give it a few points for some standout moments, but damn if this album doesn't stand completely on its own, chock full of top notch songwriting and head moving grooves, all while still sounding as much like Killing Joke as they did in 1980. I wouldn't be surprised if this is counted as one of their finest moments.

The whole album, while not a concept album, is still tied together with a sort of thematic and emotional concept of death, sorrow, and destruction in today's world. There are nods to the paranoia surrounding the Mayan 2012 apocalypse, government oppression, and our unknown economic future, as well as hints of hope for the future. The band's industrial tinged nature gives a very sci fi/dystopian edge to these themes.

These songs are also on some next level catchiness, some of them right up there with the best 80's pop you can imagine. All in all, thematically, musically, this is a 100% complete album which I think will stay in my rotation for a very long time.

Check out the interview with Jaz Coleman on the intro to their website.