Sunday, 25 October 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Raging Speedhorn, "Hard To Kill"

By: Richard Maw


Album Type: Full Length

Date Released: 23/10/2020

Label: Red Weed Records

“Hard to Kill” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Snakebite

2). Doom Machine

3). Spitfire

4). Hard To Kill

5). Hammer Down

6). Hand of God

7). Brutality

8). The Beast

9). Children of the Revolution


The Review:


Raging Speedhorn are back in business with their sixth record. Their previous album, “Lost Ritual”, was pretty gnarly with just the right amount of grit and guts to see the band firing on all cylinders. Since then, there has been a big change in line up; a new vocalist, bassist and guitarist, while the core trio of vocals, guitar and drums remains. Longtime vocalist John Loughlin has stepped down, while Dan Cook is in.


Speedhorn have always been at their best when playing very noisy rock n roll. It is what they do best- they are not a sludge band or a whatever-core band. They are distant cousins to Motorhead: aggro rock n roll their speciality. Opener “Snakebite” is a fair summary of where the band and what they do; it's rough, raucous and ready to kick your teeth out.


From there, the band drop the tempo to their pretty much trademarked swagger through “Doom Machine” and “Spitfire”. The title track is headbanging heaven; that rolling Speedhorn groove- a throwback to their excellent second album “We Will Be Dead Tomorrow” in attitude and approach. Again, the vibe of Motorhead is not too far away- it's one of the reasons I first loved the band.


Speedhorn are a bit of a British institution these days; they've been around over twenty years (!?) but they have retained their venom and bite from the early days. I was a fan from early on for a couple of reasons: they played the kind of music I like and they bothered to play in Humberside. I never saw them there at that early stage in their career, but my younger sister did and told me about them. I became a fan instantly; a heavy band had bothered to trek to the arse end of nowhere (Grimsby/Cleethorpes) and play for the metal starved youth there. I first saw them in Leeds in 2002 (I think?) and that made me a fan for life. It was a standout gig for me and I've followed them off and on ever since.


There are few other influences that you might pick up on; you get some Down-esque riffage on “Hand of God” and slow burners like Entombed did in their mid-period- but really this sounds like Raging Speedhorn. The double-vocal attack, the distorted bass, the straight-to-the-point drums and riffs. It can only be one band. The tempos are varied; “Brutality” is speedy, “The Beast” isn't and there is one huge curveball to finish things: a T-Rex cover. Yes, you read that right!


I can't think of much more of a stark difference in guitar music than the effete and androgynous Marc Bolan and the members of Raging Speedhorn who... are neither of those things. Bolan wrote some cracking riffs, though, and one of them is the backbone of this song. Speedhorn do it justice, just as Paul Di'Anno did on “Murder One” by Killers thirty years ago. Great song.


Overall, this is business as usual for Speedhorn; reinvigorated by a new line up and a four year stretch between records, this is one to pick up ASAP and play as loud as you can. No higher compliment is needed.


“Hard To Kill” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook