Release DetailsLABEL SPV
RELEASED ON 5/24/2005
How The Great Have Fallen
posted on 5/2005 By:
Raging Speedhorn play a fun, highly competent blend of thrash, sludge, and crusty punk. There’s not really anything inventive about this album, but it’s all very enjoyable. I can tell that the band have put a huge amount of effort and intensity into this, their latest recording. How The Great Have Fallen pulsates with raw energy, and the slightly loose musicianship complements the old school, garage vibe. Raging Speedhorn have spent much of their career being compared to UK greats Iron Monkey, and though this comparison still holds up as far as the vocals go, I feel that the band have found their own style. If you listen to one of their older tracks, such as “Superscud” or “The Hate Song,” you’ll notice a slightly harsher sound, but the band's latest album is no less forceful than their earlier outings. Their latest is a triumph of primitive warlust and aggression, and I’m pleased that Raging Speedhorn are now known as one of the more prominent UK acts. I mean, if their gigs are anything like their recorded material, they must be one of the best live bands ever.
Raging Speedhorn rely on a simple, effective songwriting formula which endeared me to them when I first heard the band. I was on vacation in Ireland, and I picked up a copy of a British music magazine which detailed their latest effort, 2002's We Will Be Dead Tomorrow. I tracked down that release when I got back, and it made quite an impression on me. Not having heard much about the band since then, due to their lack of exposure stateside, I was excited to see their new album. The prediction made by the previous album title did not prove true, and they were back again. Anyhow, the band’s method is to mix simple, memorable choruses with fast-paced thrash/punk verses, and the occasional massive, Sabbath-inspired groove. Check out the track “Master of Disaster” for a good example of a chorus which audience members will no doubt want to recite in the live setting. In fact, you know Phil Anselmo’s wretched Superjoint Ritual project? Raging Speedhorn is the band that SJR wish they could be.
Unlike a lot of the music I review here, the vocal parts on this album are actually just as important as what the instrumentalists are doing. John Loughlin handles the more midrange vocals, employing a powerful bellow, but what really stands out to me is the virulent shriek of Frank Regan, who has recently departed the band (I assume that’s him who does that). The guitar work is pretty standard, and though the riffs are good, they are not that technical. The drum and bass work is also quite effective and forceful, though not amazing in technical scope. But that isn’t what the band is about. The musicianship in this genre is a lot less important than the ability to craft memorable songs.
The production is also pretty strong, maintaining the gritty atmosphere which the music itself summons up. They got a great live sound out of the drums, the bass is reasonably audible, and the guitar tone is just as it should be. The vocals are mixed at about the right volume, and all in all, the less-is-more, faux lo-fi mix complements the music.
If you have any interest in the style of music this album belongs to, I recommend this release. How the Great Have Fallen takes a number of retro styles and adds modern elements. Looking for the soundtrack to a street fight? Look no further. I’m not a violent person, but this album filled me with righteous anger.
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