Regarded as something of old hands at this Hard Rockin nonsense The Boatsman have gotten to album number four and ‘Hard Livin’ is exactly where I’d hoped they’d be. They’ve always turned in decent tunes and were working hard at wearing in these guitars and being the best they could be in a crowded field and on ‘Hard Livin’ my goodness I think they’ve blasted off into the next league up. This is big boys hard rock and these four hairy fuckers have absolutely nailed it.
Sure they’re not sailing far from the mother ship Action Rock but they’re armed to the teeth with better tunes and a more confident sound than ever before and like their Scandi neighbours Scumbag Millionaires they’ve upped their game noticeably and written better songs than ever before. Yes, it’s a lovely mixture of Motorhead, Turbonegro, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, MC5, and a few snotty punk bands that they’ve cut their cloth trying to be as good as, and once the needle drops and the big entry of ‘Livin’ On Lust’ is off like a stray rocket. The thrashing of the riff is wild and reckless and I love that shit. It’s tight and set for maximum excitement and that’s the way to open your album, set your stall out get off to a fuckin’ flyer whatever superlative you like it’s a belter and the solo just kills.
If you think it’s a one-off buckle up mother fuckers because the gonzo punk rock of ‘I Wanna Clone’ is frantic and heading straight for the bull’s eye. ‘Why Wait’ is the first video off the album and sounding like The Hives feasting on a heavy diet of Hard Rock and Ramones melodies is a decent place to start full stop. It’s a decent representation of what the album sounds like but it’s not the best song on the album no sir. Nor is the rapid foot to the floor of ‘Foggy Man’ it’s like the European bastard son of The Hip Priests. ‘Take Me’ is riff after mother fuckin riff and cool as wearing a pair of aviators whilst cruising down the freeway in a Cadillac cabriolet with a bevy of beautiful babes in the back laughing at all your dad jokes.
The title track is like the Four Horsemen have just called you out and handed you a battle jacket and you need to go out and get stuck in for the team. It is a complete record and one that has plenty of exciting riffs and ideas within the songs and boundless energy all tied in with plenty of melody. The Boatsmen have landed and ‘Hard Livin’ is one hell of an album. Buy it!
Author: Dom Daley