With album art featuring one gnarly looking hog and a nice line in chugging, sludge beatdowns, one would expect XII Boar to hail from the (American) dirty south, not well-at-heel Aldershot. But this seriously powerful trio sound like they couldn’t care less about what you think, which is why their new EP “Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof” is solely concerned with kicking ass and utterly unconcerned about taking names.
Opening number ‘Smokin’ Bones’ sounds like an well-oiled Harley being taken on a free-for-all joyride by members of Brand New Sin as the guitars and rhythm section lock together with seamless perfection. ‘Hellspeed Viper’ features a selection of meaty galloping riffs that Matt Pike of High on Fire would be proud to call his own, surging forward on tidal wave of brute power and straight-as-an-arrow rock n’ roll refinery. The overall feeling is of an out of control juggernaut inexorably charging towards its destination, so even when the pace drops to swamp metal levels, the ending is never in doubt.
The fantastically named ‘Slam Hound’ is the kind of song that Lemmy should be penning instead of hanging around BBC4 documentaries, as guitarist Tommy Hardrocks leads his charges on a full throttle assault through Motorhead territory. Final track ‘Triclops’ comes with the stage in mind, with its tar-thick riffs and crashing cymbals sure to get the longhairs moving. A slightly sloppy mid-section is soon straightened out by the furious battery of drummer David Wilbraham as doom and sludge conspire to get your head nodding.
Proving that it’s not just the Yanks who get to have all the fun, “Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof” is a welcome reminder that home-grown UK talent can riff and roll with the best of ‘em.