Raging Speedhorn—Live and Demos (2004)

Raging Speedhorn—Live and Demos (2004)

Raging Speedhorn—Live and Demos (2004)

Details

Double-CD package: CD one is live, CD two is demos. All live tracks were recorded from the desk at various locations by a combination of Dave Lamb (The Garage) and Dave Stokes (Ozzfest and the University of Manchester); additional crowd recordings were taken by John Nixon.

All demo tracks were recorded at Premier Studios, Corby between 1999 and 2001. All were either produced and engineered by Iain Wetherall or Co-produced by Iain Wetherall and Raging Speedhorn.

Band

  • John Loughlin—Vocals
  • Bloody KevVocals
  • Tony Loughlin—Guitar
  • Gareth Smith—Guitar
  • Jay Thompson—Guitar
  • Dave Thompson—Bass
  • Darren Smith—Bass
  • Gordon Morison—Drums

Tracks

CD1 : Live

  1. Crowd Noise [Live At Manchester University 27 October 2002]
  2. Knives And Faces [Live At The Garage, 16 August 2000]
  3. Chronic Youth [Live At Ozzfest, 26 May 2001]
  4. Redweed [Live At Ozzfest, 26 May 2001]
  5. High Whore [Live At Manchester University, 27 October 2002]
  6. Mandan [Live At The Garage, 16 August 2000]
  7. Dungeon Whippet [Live At The Garage, 16 August 2000]
  8. Scrapin’ The Resin [Live At The Garage, 16 August 2000]
  9. The Gush [Live At Ozzfest, 26 May 2001]
  10. Superscud [Live At The Garage, 16 August 2000]
  11. Ride With The Devil [Live At The Garage, 16 August 2000]
  12. Random Acts Of Violence [Live At The Garage, 16 August 2000]

CD2: Demos

  1. Redweed
  2. Mandan
  3. Slow Process
  4. Hit Single / Thumper
  5. High Whore
  6. Knives And Faces
  7. Down
  8. Random Acts Of Violence
  9. Death Row Dogs
  10. Spitting Blood
  11. Necrophiliac Glue Sniffer
  12. Superscud

Review

Live side

What is rather nice about the live CD from UK sludgecore metallers Raging Speedhorn, is the consistency of recording from the sound-desk. This could easily be a recording of one single concert, rather than pieced together from three different gigs across three different years.

What I have really enjoyed about this disc is that it contains only songs that I’ve never heard before, having earlier this year reviewed Before The Sea Was Built (2007).

Raging Speedhorn seem to have a good live sound, a good rapport with the crowd (to the point that they have to repeatedly tell the crowd to keep off the stage), and a great energy. You get the sense that this is a good band to watch.

The music is suitably sludgy, a bit shouty but solid. Definitely something I would willingly return to.

Demos side

And now for many of these songs again (plus a handful more) but in demo form…

Many band demos sound very rough, recorded on whatever the modern equivalent of a Tascam 4-track portastudio is, but these tracks are well balanced and could very well be released without too many people not realising that they’re not the finished articles… or have I been listening to too much 1980s hardcore today?

The songs have energy and drive. Even tracks like “Hit Single/Thumper” (track 4) which didn’t grab me immediately have a fun hook that had me smiling and bobbing my head by two minutes’ in. Good stuff.

I rather enjoyed “Down” (track 7) which opens with something not too far removed from Metallica’s “The Thing That Cannot Be” but transitions into a very sludgy groove that crawls beneath a barked vocal. As does “Death row dogs” (track 9)… in fact, come to think of it, that description doesn’t really narrow down any of the songs. This is a resounding sludgecore-fest!

Conclusion

Live albums can often be hit or miss affairs; albums of songs demos even more so. But this release really nails it in both camps.

The live songs have drive and an energy that I’m sure give you a  good sense of what Speedhorn’s concerts are like. All good stuff, good stuff.

Finally, if you’re curious to see the cover before it was given a negative treatment, here you go:

What the original photo looked like

What the original photo looked like

Review score: 75%

Raging Speedhorn—Before The Sea Was Built (2007)

Raging Speedhorn—Before The Sea Was Built (2007)

Raging Speedhorn—Before The Sea Was Built (2007)

Details

Recorded at Foel Studio, Llanfair Caereinon, North Wales during two weeks in April 2007. Mastered by Russ Russell at Loud as Feck Studios a few days later. Engineered and edited by Charlie Dorman. Assisted by Chris Fielding. Produced and mixed by Larry Hibbitt.

Released on 7 September 2007 on SPV Records.

Tracks

  1. Everything changes
  2. Before the sea was built
  3. Dignity stripper
  4. Mishima
  5. Last comet from nothingness
  6. Born to twist the knife
  7. Who will guard the guards?
  8. Too drunk to give a fuck
  9. Sound of waves
  10. Jump ship

Review

My two-and-a-half year old twin boys Reuben and Joshua were sitting on my desk last week when Reuben picked up a CD case. “What’s that?” he asked.

“It’s a CD,” I replied.

“What’s a CD?” asked his twin brother.

“It’s got music on it,” I explained.

“What music?” Reuben enquired.

“It’s by a band called Raging Speedhorn.”

“I LOVE Raging Speedhorn,” exclaimed Reuben.

“Me too,” chimed Joshua

Reuben again, “Raging Speedhorn is my favourite. Is it your favourite too?”

“Erm… no,” I began, “In fact, I’ve not listened to it yet. I need to listen to it and then review it for my 195 metal CDs blog.”

Obviously feeling that he’d not got his point across emphatically enough, Joshua repeated, “I like Raging Speedhorn.”

“Good,” I said,”I’ll bear that in mind when I’m reviewing it.”

An astute pair, I’d say. Having listened to them for the best part of two weeks now, I think I can confidently say “I like Raging Speedhorn” too.

The album builds quietly and steadily. Opening track “Everything Changes” kicks off with a really pretty strummed chord progression. Guitar, bass and drums until about 90 seconds in the guitars die away and then… drums, drums, and the vocals kick in.

It wasn’t until I’d listened to the track a couple of times that I looked up Wikipedia to find more about Raging Speedhorn. I had one question: how many vocalists do they have?!

And sure enough: two. That explains the almost conversational feel to some of their tracks. Like question and answer; preces and response.

It’s so good to hear such quality British metal, and from a band that doesn’t feel that it needs to restrict itself to a conventional four or five piece set-up. It’s odd because since I was eight years old I’ve sung in choirs. Small church choirs, larger regional choirs, and for eight years the National Youth Choir of Great Britain which numbered at times up to 140 singers. Odd then that I should consider it unusual that this band has more than one!

A shame that they are no more, however, having split in 2008.

I thought that the vocals would annoy me as I’m not really into that hardcore-inspired ‘shouting’ style of vocals. But somehow with the quality of this music and with two vocalists it just works. I could listen to it all day.

Conclusion

For me the stand-out tracks are the opener “Everything Changes” and track #7 “Who will guard the guards” which slows things down a bit and has a wonderful, twisting guitar riff.

Review score: 75%

Bonus

“Who will guard the guards” live at Glasgow Barfly 18 December 2006.