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
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.