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Raging Speedhorn, Temple Theatre, Dublin, 31st January 2003

Hang on a minute, isn't the Temple a dancey, r n' b type venue. Ahh, yes, subversion of the dance scene, I love it. Raging Speedhorn have been at the forefront of the extreme metal/hardcore scene since they emerged in 1999 and for all the right reasons. They create a noise akin to a cement-mixer crashing into a mental institution, it's all growled vocals, pounding drums and sometimes sludgy, sometimes spitfire riffs. Of course, they don't appeal to a very wide audience, but anyone who's ever seen them supporting a bigger name band will know what a great live act they are and it's thanks to that constant touring that they've built up such a loyal fan base here.

And tonight was no exception. Flying straight in at the deep end and firing off crowd favourites like 'The gush' and 'High whore' early in the set, it was clear that Speedhorn were in fine form. Earlier in the day, they may have been giving out about the fact that there was no promotion done for the shows, but they still managed to pull in a decent-sized crowd. But, then again, this is a band that feeds off of anger, twists it and spits it out even more full of bile and the more pissed off they are the better they're going to be.

Co-vocalists, Frank and John, stalked the lip of the stage, like army generals barking orders at their troops, urging them onwards. Throwing the pit fodder like 'Knives and faces', 'Superscud' and 'Redweed' launched the entire place into a seething mass of bodies and flailing limbs. When that all too familiar thudding riff of 'Thumper' bounced from the stage, it sparked off the biggest reaction of the night, John bellowing out lyrics with the ferocity of a demon with his belly on fire, behind him Gareth throwing his guitar around with no regard for himself or anyone near by.

Following on closely was 'Fuck the Voodoman', a vicious stab at the music industry and live it's probably their best song. Its foundations are solid stone and it's heavier than a whole fleet of army tanks. Fucked up and damaged is how most people probably left, but part of the fun has always been comparing bruises afterwards.

Ken McGrath.

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