Album Review: Raging Speedhorn – Hard To Kill

Corby sludge survivors Raging Speedhorn remain resolute on sixth album Hard To Kill…

Album Review: Raging Speedhorn – Hard To Kill
Olly Thomas

Few would have surveyed the crop of young British bands at the start of the millennium and identified 12-legged aggro machine Raging Speedhorn as ones to last. And yet here we are, two decades on, and the Corby bruisers are back with Hard To Kill, still making new music where less abrasive contemporaries have faltered. Speaking of which: Hundred Reasons bassist Andy Gilmour has now signed up in the latest of Speedhorn’s seemingly constant line-up reshuffles.

Indeed, of the six men who played on their first two albums, only co-vocalist Frank Regan and drummer Gordon Morison remain, but spiritually the band are still driven by the sort of belligerent bounce that made Speedhorn the sludge band that wouldn’t scare nu-metal kids. Turbulent opener Snakebite charges full-steam into the sound of that early imperial phase, while Doom Machine and Hammer Down offer the sort of sinewy, mid-paced grooves that made their name. Elsewhere, The Beast taps into a winningly trad strain of doom metal, while the title-track feels as close to the middle-finger-raised defiance of classic Motörhead as to the ramshackle degeneracy of obvious ancestors Iron Monkey.

Not everything here justifies its inclusion. With its unusually funky riffs and staccato vocal delivery, Spitfire feels rather too obvious an attempt at being Raging Speedhorn Against The Machine, even including a cheeky lyrical promise to ‘take the power back’. And a marginally heavier cover of T-Rex’s already-stomping Children Of The Revolution adds little to the album, besides nudging it over the half-hour mark. However, the rest of Hard To Kill is a swaggering triumph, proving once again how lucky we are that this heavy mob refuse to die.

Rating: 3/5

For fans of: Cancer Bats, Iron Monkey, Motörhead

Hard To Kill is released on October 23 via Red Weed

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