Twelve Boar Blues – XIIBoar

No, it’s not a spelling mistake.  The band is actually called XII Boar, but it’s pronounced Twelve Boar.  Dave Wilbraham, drummer with the band, was in touch recently to tell me a bit about what they do.  Basically, Twelve Boar play a dirty, blues-ridden southern/sludge rock which reeks of all the right ingredients.  It’s fast becoming a style that is all to easy to categorise, but that’s unlikely to become a problem with this three-piece wrecking ball from Aldershot, Hampshire, who share a taste for groove laden riffage, dirty bass lines and the need to blow the roof off everywhere they set up shop.

It’s always a bit tricky when I get a missive from a band looking for coverage – I find I worry that I’ll be disappointed by what I hear, then I’ll agonise over whether to cover the band or not.  The dilemmas of a two-bit ‘zine writer!  So, heart filled with trepidation  I headed along that familiar path to their Bandcamp page, where I took in the recorded output of the band.  The first release, a 4-tracker called ‘Twelve’, was unleashed on the world in January 2011, with the latest release, the superbly named ‘Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof’, arriving a year later in January 2012.  I selected that later release and clicked on ‘Play’.

Three minutes later, and I’m reeling.  ‘Smokin’ Bones’ kicks off in a whirlwind of John Bonham style drumming, and off into a bluesy groove with the sound of Doctor Feelgood on speed with the bass being played by Lemmy.  These boys really mean it.  They’re tight, committed and tuneful.  Underpinned by the prerequisite, downtuned guitar, Led Zep licks bleed through every now and then, making the aroma of beer, sweat and dope smoke emerge from the speakers as you listen.

‘Hellspeed Viper’ is much faster, heavier, and metal influenced – this is more stripped down and roof-raising.  Classic rock and roll.  ‘Slamhound’ sees us back in mutant blues country – this is the kind of thing that Weedeater play very well when at their best.  Many bands influenced by the ‘Southern’ sound betray their lack of musical grounding when the blues element of the music comes to the fore – as Keith Richard notes, you’ve got to know your music when playing the blues, otherwise you’ll be seen through straight away.  These guys have clearly spent far too much time soaking themselves in the kind of music that made Lemmy pick up a bass guitar way back in the 60s.

The final track, ‘Triclops’, begins with a pounding drum beat, then layers of fuzz guitar and bass until it erupts into a slow, heavy sludge jam.  The vocals, too sound authentically gruff – almost James Hetfield style, and the chorus brings some great chord changes.

For a relatively new band, XII Boar prove themselves to be a step ahead of many of their contemporaries.  They’ve got the songs, they’ve got the musical references, but this release also gives you a hint that they’ve got ‘it’ – that elusive gene that puts them way above the majority of their peers.  If you want to see for yourself, then I suggest you go to their Bandcamp page, and also try to make it to one of the shows listed below:

12th May 2012
The Anvil – Bournemouth, UK
w/ Witchsorrow, Desert Storm, Caravan of Whores, Skeleton, + The Nepalese Temple Ball
Click here for more info

19th May 2012
White Swan – Aylesbury, Bucks, UK
w/ Karmalener + Diesel King
Click here for more info

20th May 2012
The Purple Turtle – Camden, London, UK
w/ Agonyst, The Mother’s Anger, Thirteen, Blind Havoc, This Means War, Strauss, Greg(o)rian + Limb
Click here for more info

8th June 2012
The Unicorn – Camden, London, UK
w/ Trippy Wicked, Enos + Mother Corona
Click here for more info

22nd June 2012
The Underground – Plymouth, Devon, UK
w/ Grifter
Click here for more info

23rd June 2012
The West End Centre – Aldershot, Hampshire, UK
Line-up TBA

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