“Nothing can stop the Speedhorn.” To be fair to Daniel Cook, he might have a point when he yells that to KK’s Steel Mill. Long story short: these boys are usually a six-piece. Tonight they are down to two-thirds of that. For one thing, Cook is on his own – his fellow singer, Frank Regan, is in the hospital after being bitten by a Blue Bottle. But for another, their bassist has left. Oh, and both of these things happened on the day of the gig.
Right. Now we’re up to speed, here’s what hasn’t changed: The ‘Horn is still the greasiest, nastiest, filthiest metal on these shores.
Cook seems merely happy to be out of the house, leaping about the stage, and screaming as if his life depends on it.
And even being a couple down, there’s no doubting the power of this music. “Motorhead” (and even though sonically there’s no real kinship, Lemmy would approve of the intent); “Fuck The Voodooman,” and “Hard To Kill” all exist on purely visceral levels.
There’s a new song too – an utterly glorious thing, a massive slab of music, and they finish with “Doom Machine,” which is likewise, but more than that, it’s aptly named, right?
If there’s an apocalypse, then what’s left standing? The cockroaches and Raging Speedhorn are, on this evidence.
At the top of Biohazard’s Twitter feed, there’s a picture of the four of them, and it simply says: #restart #2023.
We might as well, on that basis, start with the most obvious thing. Evan Seinfeld is back, and that means that Biohazard is back to full strength.
And authentic. My God, everything about Biohazard – from Brooklyn, New York – be in no doubt about this – screams authenticity.
But practically, in the here and now, they are dealing with the past. The set, which begins with “Urban Discipline” and ends with “Hold My Own” some 80-odd minutes later, is centered solely on the early albums.
There are some wonderful moments too. “Down For Life” underlines how much they mean it. The song, about brotherhood, became a tattoo. Everything is ingrained.
“Wrong Side Of The Tracks” is touchingly dedicated to Anthony Meo, the band’s first drummer, who has passed away, while “Five Blocks To The Subway” is one for the working class. In a way, that they are rooted in their community is shown by both.
“How It Is” is a nod to the hip-hop side of what they do; it was recorded with Cypress Hill, and it sounds superb, if not groundbreaking as it was back then. It is one of the things that always set Biohazard apart from their most obvious peers; another was and is the length of their songs. They are not blitzkriegs. No, rather, like “Tears Of Blood,” they crush if they feel like it.
These songs mean something too, like “Love Denied”; however, when it comes down to it, this is a band who wants to celebrate music. Their music, sure, but music more generally. That’s why there is a cover of Bad Religion’s “We’re Only Gonna Die” (“It used to be their song, but it’s ours now and we could kick their asses,” offers Seinfeld).
• Reunited, the brothers are loving life too. There is chemistry, of course, there is, but there are grins too. There’s a sense of fun; Billy Graziadei looks reinvigorated, in particular, and Bobby Hambel is a particularly underrated guitar player. And as “Punishment” shows, there’s always been a thrash heart to hardcore.
And for 33 years, Biohazard has been one of the finest exponents of the art. The only way you get that level of longevity is simple: your songs connect. Look at the moshpit here. This selection has done just that.
Brothers in arms and strength in unity, but this restart underlines that this is in the blood.