Get the horn, get it angry
“And now I’m back, I guess I never really went away” sang The Wildhearts on “Do The Channel Bop! Twenty years ago, and it takes all of about 15 seconds of the opener here “Bring Out Your Dead” to confirm it really is true, Raging Speedhorn have returned.
Seven years after their last one – and even longer since Frank Regan left to play a police commander in Blue Bloods on Sky Atlantic (that last bit might not be true) – Northampton’s finest have decided that touring as they have occasionally done over the last couple of years is all very well, but it is better when there’s some new shit to play, so they holed up with Russ Russell, who has produced every cool British band in the last twenty years, with the aim of making something special.
And with “Lost Ritual” they’ve done just that.
The riffs are this and the intent is viscous – hell, most of the time, it seems Speedhorn would quite like to reach out of the speakers and have one of the band take a knuckle duster to you while the rest of the band glassed you just for a laugh.
This is mean, its nasty and its filthy. “Halfway To Hell” doesn’t seem to think halfway is far enough, and a song called “Evil Or Mental” isn’t designed for X Factor or children’s parties, it is though built on a huge bass groove and is perhaps the best thing here.
That is a title it vies for with the magnificent “Ten Of Swords” – a lengthy, slow, monolithic wall of sound that proves that many have tried to copy the two vocalists thing, but no one has ever done it better than Raging Speedhorn.
Elsewhere, “Lost Ritual” is a glorious trawl through a grimy, dirty world, “Dogshit Blues” is a fist clenching, hardcore influenced thing, with a huge breakdown, and “The Hangman” is a damn sight more most of the bands that attempt this type of doomy eclecticism manage.
There are times, though, when Speedhorn just want to live up to their name and get where they are going – fast. “Shit Outta Luck” is a fine example of this, while “Motorhead” (no doubt named in homage to the great man) is another.
Things end with perhaps the heaviest – and the longest cut here – “Unleash The Serpent” does menace perhaps better than anything else here and rules largely by fear, but In many ways, the thumping “Comin’ Home” is arguably the summation of “Lost Ritual”. “I’m shitfaced/a fucking disgrace” go its first two lines, but the song is so good that you would let them throw up on your lawn on the way home. To be fair, you probably wouldn’t dare stop them.
As seven year itches go, this is a pretty productive one.