Viagra Boys

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Street Worms (2018), 6.5/10
Welfare Jazz (2021), 4/10
Cave World (2022), 5/10

Sweden's Viagra Boys, fronted by Sebastian Murphy and with Oskar Carls on saxophone, Benjamin Valle' on guitar and Martin Ehrencrona on synth, delivered pulsating disco-punk numbers on Street Worms (2018). The hilarious and grotesque Sports (the single) pales in comparison with the Cramps-esque punkabilly Up All Night, the Von Lmo-esque sax-driven tribal futurism of Amphetanarchy, the robotic ballet a` la Devo of Slow Learner, and especially the vicious and relentless funk-locomotive rhythm of Shrimp Shack. They also into the decadent Roxy Music-esque ballad Beijing Taxi and Special Helmet speculates on the existential format codified in the 1980s by hits like Romeo Void's Never Say Never but their forte is the rhythm. Their music evokes the era of the new wave, the party music of B52's, the tribal orgies of the Talking Heads, the brainless punk ditties of the Ramones.

The vastly inferior Welfare Jazz (2021), without Ehrencrona, repeats the same jokes without the same verve, and further dilutes the music with disco-soul ballads like Creatures, slow blues rants like I Feel Alive and pointless interludes. The best song, the rap-punk Ain't Nice, sounds like a leftover from the first album. The rest is filler.

Cave World (2022) is often beyond derivative. For example, Add is a diligent imitations of the Talking Heads. While not even close to the energy of the first album, this third album has more than the second one, at least in the fast-paced pounding rap Ainít No Thief and the Nick Cave-esque Baby Criminal. The six-minute Return to Monke could be another one if it didn't run out of both fuel and inspiration after three minutes. Alas, most of their skits are neither funny nor musical.

(Copyright © 2021 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )