Music Review: Viagra Boys ‘Street Worms’

I Feel A Deep Raw Stirring

I’ve just realised something.

Even though they hail from Stockholm, the rather BRILLIANT track ‘Sports’, by the rather BRILLIANT (& BRILLIANTLY named) Viagra Boys, could effectively be the theme tune to Brexit. A slow building, monotonous drone, pure lack of effort,  a complacent, entitled, myopic ode to a single narrow backward (fascist) belief. In this case the subject is Sports (which I equally HATE), but the essence is the same. A fundamentalist chant to something that in reality, doesn’t make sense at all. Lead singer Sebastian Murphy continues his big gulp Kool Aid escalation into a Tom Waits raspy White Lightening cider binged rant wail, piqued with the cacophony scream of arcing sweaty sinewy saxophone, wild money winning goal shot leap… and crash, Sports is Climax, Climax is Sports. Good job I wasn’t directing the video.

It’s a beautiful tongue stuck in cheeks dirty dry little ditty (and very funny video) that acts as wry spikey entre to an absolutely vibrant randy delight that is their new album ‘Street Worms’.

It’s not the first track on the album, that honour goes the to the raw riff funky/grinding ‘Down in the Basement’… ‘dressed up in latex’ as this post punk sextet (is that number deliberate?) swagger, snarl and slide through a rawkus track that’s instantly familiar, classic, anthemic, beautifully (and knowingly) over confident in the way you can step up to the mic after a ton of shots, take on ANY classic song, and break down in a puddle of tears, sweat and Sambuca at the end.

There’s a rhythmic, hypnotic undertone to many of their tracks that seem somewhat shamanic in their intent. Lulling, tempting you to come play on the Rock Rocks, treating it like a podium, where you willing, gladly crowd surge to the top, in the aim of seducing each and every song. All with a knowingly (probably drunk) glint in your eye.

Culturally referenced crafted stabs at the continuing idiocies of modern life (Just Like You, Best in Show) are road killed across the album. Despite their potentially bleak topics, the erect confidence and humorous, clever lyric presentation by Murphy bring the preacher power of Nick Cave, the desert dusted voice and fun of Clutch, plus the snarl of The Stooges, which is a fantastic cocktail at any time of the day, with bonus mainlining adrenalin stabs of saxophone to effectively rush those rushes.

The beats and riffs might sound instantly familiar, but they are gleefully at odds with the gorgeous lunacy that play out in the lyrics throughout, warped and to be honest, a fucking delight. There’s poetry between these pouts and winks I tell you. ‘I put a towel in a bag, with formaldehyde, I put that shit up to my mouth, and get really high’ (Shrimp Shack) is destined to be played as the first dance at weddings throughout the land.

There’s even hints of The Fall (Worms) and the glorious throbbing frenzy closing track Amphetanarchy that has hints of Killing Joke, which truly shows the serious quality of influence that these guys are filtering into their own warped creations.

With a gritty raw production to the album (by Daniel Fagerström, Pelle Gunnerfeldt) there’s a vitality and focus across the board, that I’m postive will be delightfully and hopefully nearly overwhelming when we get to see them all played live, really bloody soon.

8/10 Viagra Boys ‘Street Worms’ is out now. They are currently touring, with London 25 October, check vboysstockholm.com for details.

Born in celtic lands, nurtured in art college, trained by the BBC, inspired by hunter s. thompson and released onto the battlefront of all things interesting/inspiring/good vibes... people, movies, music, clubbing, revolution, gigs, festivals, books, art, theatre, painting and trying to find letters on keyboards in the name of flushthefashion. Making sure it's not quite on the western front... and beyond.

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