sun 07/08/2022

Album: Viagra Boys - Cave World | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Viagra Boys - Cave World

Album: Viagra Boys - Cave World

Swedish retro-futurist punks fire out another tasty set of tough, goofy stompers

Pet prawns, Armageddon, or cocaine? The choice is yours...

The third album from Stockholm rowdies Viagra Boys doesn’t muck about with what they do, but it’s more persistently punkin’ than their last. There’s more than a snifter of Iggy and the Stooges in both the vocal style and the raucous over-amped riffage, but Viagra Boys spice their sound with electronics and, where early-Seventies Ig was always about untrammelled “Raw Power”, this lot are as happy to offer wry lyrical critiques among the all-out stompers.

Thus, goofin’ rock’n’roll trashiness such as “Troglodyte”, which comes on like The Cramps discovering Krautrock, sits easily alongside songs such as “Ain’t No Thief”. The central premise of the latter, bullishly stated, is not to assume that because of his tattooed ruffian look, American-born lead singer Sebastian Murphy nicked your coat. In fact, the lyrics are cleverly ambiguous. It seems entirely possible, by the song’s end, given the increasingly implausible coincidences offered, that said coat was, indeed, stolen. Either way, you’re not getting it back!

Elsewhere “Punk Rock Loser” is equally boisterous in its adamance: “I warned you then that, baby, I don’t seem insane / But I fucking am, and I’m rocking a little gold chain / That ain’t real gold, I told you, it’s fucking fake / That’s right, I spend my money elsewhere on different things / That come in little plastic bags, and they disappear the same night.” There’s something burlesque about their style, larger-than-life, drawing from the same well as Jim Jones with his Revue and, especially, his Righteous Mind band.

Poking the ants’ nest, “Creepy Crawlers” sends up COVID conspiracy theorists in a preacher-style rant over freeform music (“They’re putting microchips in the vaccines, little creepy crawlies with tiny little legs that creep around your body collecting information”!) while opener “Baby Criminal” bemoans a son’s B-movie-esque journey into bizarre crime.

In other words, there’s lots of fun to be had, but the music remains muscular, tight and large-scale too, without losing its ballsy fierceness, urgent riffage forming architecture around songs that demand live performance. I missed them last time they toured the UK. I shall not do so again!

Below: watch the video for "Punk Rock Loser" by Viagra Boys

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