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  • Writer's pictureCase Cockrell

Cave World by Viagra Boys snapshots our society in its depraved state

Updated: Jul 14, 2022


"They're killing each other out here, man," Viagra Boys frontman Sebastian Murphy sings on the new release by the Swedish-bred dance-punks. On this new studio release entitled Cave World, Viagra Boys tell stories of Qanon apes, petty thievery, and mainstream media misinformation that make for one of the most well-rounded rock efforts of 2022.


The breathtakingly manic meltdowns on this record don't even scratch the surface of the beautiful chaos that comes unchained on this new studio album by the upswinging Swedish Punks, Viagra Boys. The Swedish rock act has been doing this for several years, making this entry their 3rd full-length project for Sweden-based independent label, Year0001. After hearing how cathartic and direct the band's delivery was after discovering them with last year's Welfare Jazz, I went into this album expecting an even more piercing narrative. To simplify my analysis, the band does not disappoint in sculpting an album as precise as it is reckless. From conspiracy theories to stealing someone's grandmother's jacket, Viagra Boys throws it into high gear and doesn't take its foot off the gas for any reason.


Viagra Boys gets down to brass tacks on opening number Baby Criminal in no time. The borderline blown-out drum tracks create a no-bullshit backdrop for Viagra Boys to begin their expedition. On this opening track, Viagra Boys sing, "Used to be a baby, and now he's just a criminal." The lines the band drops on this record captivate and terrify, both to which the band knows no limits. The result is a storyline that captivates the listener into a whirlwind of fuzzy guitars and talky narratives that keep us strapped in for what Viagra Boys has in store for the rest of this record. The glitchy, synthy interludes are just a plus for the fantastic journey we are about to experience. The warpiness and distorted nature of this entire record is also something to behold, with the production value becoming more apparent as the album progresses. Singer Sebastian Murphy makes it his mission to repeatedly bash his thought-provoking words into your skull so severely that his message is as straightforward as it can be.


The track Creepy Crawlers goes ballistic on the misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines, further expanding on the absurd narratives the mainstream media is spreading regardless of their political standing. Rising tensions of the foggy, blown-to-hell instrumentals make for an incendiary payoff before descending into a jittery whirlwind, making for an attention grabber that works out in the most explosive ways. Murphy shamelessly utters," They're putting little microchips in the vaccines. Little creepy crawlers with tiny little legs. They creep around your body. Collecting information, oh, collecting information." This track takes the viewpoint of a simplistic thinker who believes everything the radical media tells them and becomes a product of the toxic disease known as GroupThink. Don't undermine the severity of this narrative; some people will believe the wildest shit, and Murphy makes sure to highlight some of the crazier conspiracy theorists with this cut on the album. The record's furious nature is so close to the edge that it seems like we are one crisis away from the collapse of our not-so-civilized society.


On the track Ain't No Thief, Viagra Boys find themselves off the beaten path with a series of defenses where someone has accused you of stealing a jacket and some lighters that look too similar to be a coincidence. It's almost like the song thrift shop but for kids that pound Jim Beam and smoke the brownest weed that even Keith Richards wouldn't touch with a 10-inch pole. It's a pounding indie rock expenditure that serves as a confessional about the sheer boredom brought upon us by a global pandemic where the only damn thing to do is nab a coat off someone's grandma. The hilarious lyrics of this track and the frantic, fuzzy instrumentals make this track a worthwhile detour from the overarching narrative of the album, or lack of a better term, a banger. "So quit bitching, motherfucker!"


The distorted bluesiness on the track Big Boy showcases the band's ability to dumb things down to the basics, often paying homage to the murkiness of Ween's The Pod or even a Tom Waits record. The stagnant drums drone on throughout the track's 5-and-a-half-minute runtime, draging the listener through the mud of lo-fi goodness. Murphy also takes advantage of the track's distorted vocal delivery by serving the listener a series of rants about everyone expecting you to get a 9-5, an apartment, a car, and whatever materialistic things to fit in with big society when in reality the world will still crumble around you no matter what your possessions are. We all saw how bored we got at home during 2020. Let's not pretend our jobs and fancy TVs kept us wholly entertained during the shutdowns.


The no-holds-barred confessional on ADD is a testimony to everyone who's ever struggled with the brain disorder that always scatters our thoughts into oblivion among doing many other things to our minds. Let's face it. We leave our shit everywhere every day. Therefore this song puts a theme song into our remote searching, keys-losing antics. As someone with a mild to severe case of attention deficit disorder, the track is an homage to the noises and disturbances that force us off our train of thought on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. The electronic grooves on this track also serve as drivers for its relatable story, making the fluctuating dynamics of the verses and choruses a rave of monstrous stature.


The record's 6-minute closer Return To Monke does nothing but rage the album into total exhaustion and eventually complete burnout. If you didn't notice at least some of the message of this record before, Murphy picks up an aluminum bat and beats it into you like a loan shark to a deadbeat who's missed his last two payments. The track's massive instrumental features some of the most technical performances on this record, blowing you away from the very second that track starts, with fuzzy guitars and pummeling drum beats galore. The ultimatum Murphy preaches on this track puts things simply for anti-vaxxers during the COVID-19 pandemic: Don't want the vaccine? Go live with the apes in the wild and do ape things all day. "Leave society, be a Monkey." Murphy declares throughout the track. The verses that round out the titular chants on this track do so well to mock the absolute insanity surrounding COVID misinformation during the pandemic's peak. The result is an anthem that seals the deal for Murphy's rightfully aggressive viewpoints through and through. Everything about this track solidifies it as a perfect album closer, with Murphy screaming at the listener until the album finishes. If you didn't already know, Murphy is calling them as he sees them on this entire release, and almost all of the cuts seek to eradicate what is left of any doubts about how Murphy feels about how some people are handling the COVID crisis. It doesn't stop here; Murphy is calling out ALL the misinformation giants here and seems to have up to the galaxy's far reaches with all the willful ignorance plaguing our world in the current era.


No surprises, Viagra Boys are back and better than ever on Cave World. Even when the world was in its worst of times, Viagra Boys got dialed in for this release and managed to deliver an unhinged masterpiece that has a lot to unpack in terms of lyricism, infectiously catchy hooks, and impeccably tight instrumentals. I don't know what else to say here. Give this one a listen and dive head first into the lyricism and forward-thinking messages about what it all means.


Cave World is a worthy candidate for rock album of the year.




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