Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Fredrik Bengtsson)

Music

Viagra Boys go hard on ‘Cave World’

'Cave World' - Viagra Boys
7.9

There isn’t much left to say about the Swedish punk collective, the Viagra Boys. The group have long developed their unique sound on three ‘f’s; they’re fast, furious and don’t give a fuck. It’s a classic punk combination that could hint at an inability to move on. However, on Cave World, the group manage to move past the tragic loss of member Benjamin Vallé, and deliver their potent brand of punk rock into a whole new spectrum.

Sebastian Murphy is one of the more charismatic lead singers you’ll find on the festival circuit these days. Not just a pertinent orchestrator for the group, Murphy has always operated with a heavy dose of authenticity which, when you look at the subject matter within Cave World, may lead to a few enquiries. Hell, in the opening song ‘Baby Criminal’ he blurts out the notion of microwaving batteries and turning squirrels into hats. While, in that song, it is little jimmy who operates as the main protagonist, throughout the entire LP, there is a real sense of the band pouring themselves into their work.

It’s a sonic step that has changed the make-up of the band. Without noticing or perhaps even acknowledging it, the group are slowly moving into the new realm of music. Their deliberations within the punk rock world can be heard throughout the album, but there are also moments of glitching electronica and perhaps even a gentle hint as a folk-inspired song, heaven forbid.

Singles ‘Punk Rock Loser’, ‘Troglodyte’, and ‘Ain’t No Thief’ are particularly brimming with Murphy’s malicious intent, the latter being filled with enough sardonic spittle to leave a Sex Pistols gig feeling inadequate. However, maybe the key indicator of the record’s success comes on ‘Big boy’, featuring Sleaford mods’ Jason Williamson.

The track is a humping, and heroic homage to the cowboy country living that can sometimes appeal to punks. Murphy’s vocals are distorted beyond recognition, but he’s backed by a trio of harmonies to add some sweetness to this otherwise tobacco-drenched rhythm. However, those stylings soon fall by the wayside as Murphy and co allow the glitching electronica to once again infiltrate proceedings and roll out the particular red carpet Williamson is used to.

Elsewhere, ‘The Cognitive Trade-Off Hypothesis’ is as dark and brooding as the Black Mirror-esque title may suggest despite the odd falsetto harmonies. ‘ADD’ also stays true to the title by delivering a powerhouse delivery of punk rock; it’s bruising and bruised in equal measure. Closing out the album is ‘Return to Monke’, which is a no-holds-barred anthem that defines the group and the LP. Sounding like the final scene of a dystopian shootout, Viagra Boys end the record covered in blood and smiling like Travis Bickle with a raygun.