No Forgiveness by Twelve BoarRelease date: September 8, 2017
For third album, No Forgiveness, Hampshire’s cowboy hatted, denim clad, good time party metal ‘n’ rollers, Twelve Boar, have dispensed of the Roman numerals previously in their name, which of kind of begs the question does the re-branding extend any further? For the already initiated the answer is a largely happy no. For the un-initiated, what are you waiting for? Go run enthusiastically into the deciduous forest and grunt and growl like vocalist Tommy Hardrocks’ pollination of James Hetfield and Lemmy. Although this time around the lyrical embrace of mythology incorporated on second album Beyond the Valley of the Triclops has been ditched for more down at heel tales of the trials and tribulations of pursuing the rock ‘n’ roll path, and other general being a rocker shenanigans for the 21st century.
In this somewhat poorer post Lemmy/Motörhead world, bands who carry the torch with affectionate and passionate rock ‘n’ roll feeling should only be encouraged and congratulated, in this writer’s humble opinion. But that would be unfair to lump Twelve Boar as mere Motörhead copyists because while they clearly owe a debt and love to their obvious heroes, boring followers they most certainly are not. As they also bear a slight nod of resemblance to Clutch’s groove and swagger, attack ‘n’ roll. Plus, add in a healthy dose of tongue and cheek, wink and a smile all-knowing sense of humour, it all amounts to good old rock ‘n’ roll school entertainment.
The album opens with, and what amounts as lyrically serious for Twelve Boar, a Clutch styled riffy rocker ‘Steppin’ Out.’ About the life affirming reasons why the members of Twelve Boar do indeed plough ahead down the all too true hard work, poverty stricken, rock ‘n’ roll highway ”getting paid a pittance yet your guitar cost a grand”, while free loaders contribute further to the continuation of empty pockets. And it continues in the album’s latter stages with ‘All the Heavy Griftin’ as they roll through the ten stages of gigging, selected highlights include ”four for the rock, five for the roll”, ”six for the devil whose got my soul”, ”eight for the bar stuff pulling pints”, ”ten for the bands we hold so dear.”
But it isn’t just in the lyrics which provides the interest and chuckles – laughing with them, not at them – because musically Twelve Boar also possess a great sense of adventurism, which makes them and this album’s up beat, fast ‘n’ dirty metal ‘n’ roll, for the large part an enjoyable romp. Just marvel at the insaneness of the opening of ‘Elders of the Deep’ as it explodes between thrash ‘n’ roll, as a traditional Chuck Berry rock ‘n’ roll riffage is incorporated into the thrashing mad fury, for what seems like a why not, unadulterated, one hundred per cent drop it in because it sounds crazy, and a barrel or three of fun. And the album closer and arguably the standout ‘Hellspeed Truckin’ is a pulverising, fist pumping, grin inducing, update jaunt of Deep Purple’s ‘Space Truckin’, on steroids!
There are, of course, a couple of straight shooting Motörhead call to arms chargers, the best of these being ‘Curtain Call’. While the least satisfying is the title track’s twelve boar blues mid-tempo stomp fed through a Jack Daniels drip Lemmy and co used when they dipped into the blues as on ‘Lost Women Blues’, from the Aftershock album. But, it is a minor grumble to what is a fine return and made this writer wanting to board their cabin for some “Hellspeed Truckin” where everything is indeed rockin’.
Twelve Boar can effortlessly swing between the aspirational, what the fuck, raise the horns admiration, to drive the truck down cringe worthy clichés in a matter of seconds. But, because it’s shot through with such vigorous good spirit, and not forgetting that good ole sense of humour, to serve them well so the cliché moments can be brushed off as yeah, it is all intentional, because did it make you rock out with a smile? Yes, it sure as Lemmy (R.I.P.) used to light up a cigarette, does.