In late February 2010 Tommy Hardrocks (Guitar & Vocals), Adam ‘Bad-Dog’ Williams (Bass & Backing Vocals) and David Wilbraham (Drums) came together to birth the truly riff-tastic XII Boar.
Described as ‘sludge-tinged rock n’ roll’ ‘combining crushing riffs with killer guitar solos and groove laden melodies’, XII Boar have released two four-track EP’s to date, two records that have become the foundational albums of a completely new genre:
Though it must be admitted that this new label refers only to the artwork and a large percentage of the subject matter, it is equally important to point out that XII Boar succeed fully in their mission statement, having produced two works of ballsy swine-centred chugging sludge & doom awesomeness with healthy lashings of punk sensibilities.
It’s a widely recognised fact that bacon makes everything better, and now we know for certain that the liberal application of swine to music makes for a massively tasty treat for the eardrums as well.
‘XII’ (Jan 2011)
XII kicks off with ‘Trainwreck‘, a fast-paced track infused with punk beats and vocals, transforming into doom laden, almost gratuitous, chugging at the close. This sets the tone for second track ‘Beg, Borrow, Steal‘ and indeed the rest of the EP, which artfully flicks between sludge, punk, metal and doom throughout.
We here at Adrenochrome Music are rather partial to the music they call sludge, and the third track ‘Sludge‘ works as a fitting tribute, displaying what it’s all about by working a blues heavy, groove-ridden riff dripping in distortion into many forms, showcasing both the creativity of the three members and the potential within the style.
Also notable are the vocals found around half way through closing track ‘S.K.O.L‘ (and later at the close of ‘Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof’) that caused a head to giggle profusely and reveal that the records not only required much skill and creativity in their conception but also a considerable amount of gleeful arseing around.
‘Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof’ (Jan 2012)
Like clockwork, ‘Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof’ was released a precise zodiac later and arguably forms a slightly more refined offering, though with equal amounts of heavy-to-the-face distortion. First track ‘Smokin’ Bones‘ portrays the bands clear enjoyment of playing great shows with lyrics such as: ‘you’re getting paid.. you’re getting laid.. and I’ll see you at the end of the bridge.. do it all again!’.
The track, and further the rest of the EP, is a great deal more ‘bouncy’ that XII, if that’s a sensible way to describe anything, with second track ‘Hellspeed Viper‘ artfully conveying the concept of ‘hellspeed’ and third track ‘Slamhound‘ redefining the established concept of the groupie in an equally tasteful manner.
Final track ‘Triclops‘ brings the record to a close with epic lyrics and riffs comprising the platonic ideal of ‘Chugg’, rounding off 20 minutes of great stuff in heavy, sludgy style.
A final note about the artwork: covers that so accurately portray the spirit of a record are few and far between, and to me the foundation and progression that the band has made since its conception are mirrored well in the stylistic differences between the two covers; the foundations of the first, a raw, dark portrayal of the brutal side of our tasty amigos, are found in equal quantities in the second with a friendlier but no less hardcore personality.
Unfortunately I’ve been unable to discover the artist behind the ‘XII’ cover, but apparently the awesome boar’s head of ‘Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof’ was penned by a guy called Richard Sayer, who goes by the name ‘French’, with added details from Bassist Williams and a fella called Luke.
Both self-produced EP’s are free to download in full from their website where you can also find band news, info on their relentless gig schedule, excellent self-produced merch and links to the social networks. French’s blog page can be found here, look out for a future post about his inky exploits coming soon!