REVIEW: RAGING SPEEDHORN - HARD TO KILL
CORBY BRUISERS STILL SPILLING YOUR PINT
Raging Speedhorn are often, unfortunately, mentioned in the same breath as nu-metal which is as unfair as it is lazy because all they truly had in common with the genre was timing, emerging as they did from Corby, England around 2000. Musically their thuggish, violent metal incorporating sludge, hardcore, and Sabbathy doom was more closely related to the likes of the Iron Monkey than the cod Hip Hop, introspective teenage angst and clumsily applied eyeliner of nu-metal. Their self-titled debut released two decades ago was feral and seethed with square-go aggression and permeated the dank concrete atmosphere of de-industrialised town grit. Ferocious live performances were coupled with infamous tour behaviour which often wreaked havoc. Two decades on, and after multiple line-up changes as well as a six year hiatus, Hard to Kill is RSH's sixth album and the title is instructive of what to expect.
Snakebite is a rampaging blast of sleazy, vicious death n' roll with their customary dual-screamed vocals and greasy heavy riffs. It is reminiscent of their second album We Will Be Dead Tomorrow or their last effort, Lost Ritual as is the careering pit-friendly Hard to Kill which is an album highlight and a short, sharp nasty kick to the solar plexus. It is like a seriously down-turned, angrier and heavier Motorhead
RSH always excelled, however, at deceleration with slow, grindingly heavy acerbic doom. The aptly titled Doom Machine has a classic swinging rock hook line and builds up to an unexpected hallucinogenic 70's finale while the rumbling rage of Spitfire and Hammer Down are all crawling slow motion anger and groove. Likewise The Beast is livid, ponderously heavy with stoner metal flourishes.
Hard to Kill is raw and succinct (the record only just makes it over half and hour). It is a sordid, abrasive and gleeful ode to Motorhead, Black Flag, Black Sabbath with perhaps some touches of Pantera and Crowbar. This is soundtrack for scrapping for a fight. Among the spit and attitude, however, is a departure to a slight but tangible 70s rock influence, which is detectable only in snatches periodically throughout the album but most explicitly with the cover of T-Rex's Children of the Revolution. It is a perplexing choice to include let alone use as a record finale and it's unlike anything the band have attempted before now. While its inclusion is arguably more anomalous than adventurous, the point is clearly a statement of pure unrepentant attitude that represents the whole ethos of this album. Hard to kill? Yes.