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It was the EG Records logo on the spine that drew me to that used Killing Joke cassette all those years ago. It was 1987, and I was already the proud owner of several Brian Eno and King Crimson tapes on the same label. Should sound just like ’em, right? Well, not really. Nevertheless, I ended up becoming a fan of the first two albums despite the fact that there was really nothing progressive about the British band at all. There wasn’t anything regressive, either. The band just seemed to exist in its own hermetically sealed world, where metal sounded like punk and punk was pissed off at something so nonspecific as to be all-inclusive. Fast-forward to 2003: Killing Joke seems to be slouching towards nü-metal (chugging a lot) and has gotten way too lyrically obvious (railing against Bush, banks, and pumpkin pie), but at least that tribal throb is still intact. Killing Joke plays with Amen at 8:30 p.m. on the Black Cat’s Mainstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $15. (202) 667-7960. (Brent Burton)