XII Boar - Pitworthy - (8/10)
Published on March 9, 2015
Genre:Stoner Rock / Stoner Metal
With its sprawling urban metropolises, quaint villages, grey skies and long winters, England hardly seems like the kind of place that would have a bustling southern-fried sludge/stoner scene. I mean, when the urge to make moonshine, spit tobacco and rock the fuck out takes over you need a porch out in the bayou, not snaking cobblestone roads and thatched roofs, right? Conventional wisdom suggests a humid, sun-caked locale would be a safer bet when scouting for bands that bring the grooves and riffs by the bucket load. Well, the presence of bands like Orange Goblin, Cathedral, Electric Wizard and Viking Skull shoots that argument to hell, doesn’t it? Sure does, and XII Boar (pronounced Twelve Boar) is another fine addition to the mix.
That’s actually putting it mildly, in fact, as these Aldershot natives rock harder than a porn star’s bed springs. They kinda had to, considering the album is titled Pitworthy. Firmly ensconced in the more rock-oriented end of the stoner spectrum, though never forsaking the ol’ grit ‘n’ grime, XII Boar do a bang-up job of hitting that sweet spot between Clutch, Crowbar and Down. Parallels could be drawn between them and Red Fang in terms of the generally uplifting feeling of the songs, with the unadulterated rock-out of “The Schaeffer Boogie” and the title track really sounding like a slightly more bluesy RF. Though they don’t pack quite the same emotional heft, they also do a fine job of channelling the aforementioned Crowbar on the excellently titled “Battle Boar” (mainly due to the gruff vocals), while the closing track, “Quint,” sees them merging the swagger of Clutch with the galloping bluster of Grand Magus to devastating effect.
XII Boar may not bring anything new to the table – in fact, they incorporate just about every stoner rock cliché into their sound – but they do so with passion and aplomb. Every song has a delicious sense of forward momentum, the grooves are catchier than influenza in an AIDS ward and the clear production job highlights every nook and cranny of their sound. This all amounts to what is simply a great set of songs custom made to shake your ass and grow your beard to. Tune in, drop out & rock on!