Live Review: Raging Speedhorn w/Crowbar, Charger & Scurge @ Camden Electric Ballroom!

It’s 20 years since the inception of Corby Northamptonshire natives Raging Speedhorn, which for some might be hard to believe. After something of a turbulent past with line-up changes, implosions and explosions the band returned to the limelight in 2016 with “Lost Ritual”. Tonight however is a different beast. The original line-up on stage together for one night only. In celebration of the past, to raise a glass for everyone and everything that got them here.

Fellow Corby neighbours Scurge [6/10] open the show tonight to a gradually filling venue. Their set is tight and well honed but their vocalist is perhaps ill fitting for the bands sound, the vocal tones suiting a far heavier and more technical band. That being said, the vocals are decent and against the backdrop of Sludge Metal with much cleaner guitar tones that one would expect, it’s perhaps the stand out part. Everything is too stripped back sonically and tonally tonight and the band seem far too laid back to bring the stage presence they perhaps deserve.

Charger [7/10] are a clear sonic step up from Scurge but lack that spark that makes the difference between a solid band and a great band. Their set is a feedback heavy Sludge Metal riff fest that gets repetitive in places. They’re a band of some excess and trimming the fat and shortening some of those hooks would do them the power of good.

New Orleans Sludge Metal Pioneers Crowbar [9/10] were last at the Electric Ballroom as part of a post Roadburn Festival co-headlining run with Converge in the summer. In a shorter than usual set, Kirk Windstein and company keep things tight, ploughing through classic cuts like “Lasting Dose” and “Planets Collide” to a crowd that loves every second. Todd Strange having stepped down from bass duties since the last time we saw the band, Shane Wesley has stepped in. It doesn’t make a difference however as Crowbar have always been a revolving door of quality musicians with Kirk Windstein as the sole original member. Guitarist Matt Brunson was only 15 when single “Broken Glass” was released and yet he has had nearly a decade in the band and clearly feels every sentiment of the lyrical content as the song is played note perfect.

Raging Speedhorn [9/10] take the stage to a packed audience and proceed to demolish the place with a set packed full of songs from the bands first two albums. The light show is incredible as vocal pair Frank Regan and John Loughlin stalk the stage and deliver an aural assault fit for the bands moto of “Sniff Glue, Worship Satan”. Songs like “Thumper”, “Chronic Youth” and “The Gush” are all played faster and harder tonight as the band are in stunning form. The Corby Sludge Metal Kings are very much in celebratory mood and don’t break the set for more than a couple of words until the song before the encore. Here’s to another 20 years lads.

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