Raging Speedhorn : Newport TJ’s

Full Metal Racket!

No matter how faded your Maiden tour shirt, regardless of your aging

beergut, Raging Speedhorn have the curious effect of turning an

entire room into excitable children with few concerns beyond leaping

on each other’s heads. It’s not a state you want to get trapped in,

but for an evening’s escapism it can’t be beaten.

The crowd shout, “TIMM-EHH!!” at madly barking vocalist Frank Regan,

apropos of very little. He tells us the band have been “bumming” each

other. Gutturally grunting second vocalist John Loughlin demands

someone buy him a beer. Someone does. “Get drunk as a motherfucker,”

suggests Regan, helpfully. People do.

All of which looks wearyingly adolescent on paper, but the Speedhorn

sextet’s tongue-in-cheek nature pervades even their most blackly hate-

fuelled moments (a song called ‘Dungeon Whippet’). Recent single ‘The

Gush’ is named after a Chris Morris sketch and is their ‘pop’ turn,

inasmuch as you can detect shards of melody among the open-wound


The new songs are as splendidly titled as one would expect from a

band as splendidly named as Raging Speedhorn. ‘Iron Cobra’ and ‘Me

And You Man’ stomp belligerently in familiar territory, but it’s the

monstrous ‘Scrapin’ The Resin’ that locks in the memory: sonics

detuned to an unwell crawl of feedback, Loughlin making vocal noises

that could drive middle eastern dictators from their homes.

It’s Raging Speedhorn’s collision of clever ideas and wilfully

stoopid gestures that shapes their sound – along, naturally, with the

ten million pounds of sludge-metal excess that doesn’t let up once

during a glorious hour. It might mean the songs all pretty much

coalesce into a singular, epic jam, but this kind of homogeneity is

no crime.

Besides, when useless, antiseptic ‘grunge’ revivalist idiots like
Staind are nicking parking spaces in the Top 40, this stuff can’t

help but sound radical. In fact, the complete lack of pretension in

Speedhorn philosophy – drink beer, pull bong, deprecate self, jump

into audience – puts them far closer to grunge’s embryonic spirit

than the aforementioned chumps. An unfettered celebration of LOUDNESS

with semi-ironic devil signs and titanic drunking binges on the side?

To coin a (Staind ) phrase, it’s been a while.

Noel Gardner