A couple of the recent AOM’s have felt a bit “worthy”, a little too considered, such as Weyes Blood and Ex:Re. Not bad albums, but no swagger, no fun, no danger.

So you want blood, snot, attitude, swagger, sweat?

You want heavily tattooed Scandinavian men?

Of course you do!

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Let’s deal with the name first – Viagra Boys. It’s awful. It’s “a comment on the failed male role in today’s society,” according to an interview on Fader website. There’s multiple references to what it means to be a bloke, a “Norse God” as they put it. We’re in a similar area to Idles (an album I didn’t really get along with), discussing masculinity. There is some worthiness there then. The Viagra Boys are just more fun.

viagara boys_street wormsFronted by tattoo artist Sebastian Murphy (presumably, his American dad helps account for his singing accent), Street Worms is the band’s debut studio album. Released in 2018 but getting a fresh push a year later, it grabs you by the lapels, rips your jacket off and shoves you to the front of the stage. It’s 9 tracks that flash by in the blink of an eye and have you swaggering around your kitchen whilst buttering your toast (or at least that was my reaction in the absence of an available mosh pit).

I’d got a hint with Sports, a catchy as hell tune which got heavily played last year on BBC 6 Music (“Baseball, Basketball, Weiner dog, Short shorts, Cigarette, Surfboard, Ping pong, Rugby ball, Wiener dog, Skiing, Down on the beach, Sports”). Opening with a clip-clop tennis ball being served noise and a motorik beat and bass line, it has a touch of the B-52’s meets the Stooges.

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Iggy is a touchstone through the album, whether it is the baritone of Murphy’s vocal delivery or the Stooges full on assault with a Steve Mackay sax churning away. At the Rough Trade In-Store, Murphy’s shirt was off within the first number, rolling around on the stage a la Iggy.

The band were a thrilling proposition live, a proper old school tear up. After the Modern Lovers/VU referencing Slow Learner, we got the brooding Just Like You. Murphy prowled the stage, walking backwards and forwards like a menacing street walking cheetah, if slightly less feline and conditioned as prime Jimmy Osterberg.

It was all a dream but it was so nice
I had a nice house and such a lovely wife
We had a little dog, such a little dog
But it reminded me of a large dog
Yeah, just a miniature size, yeah I saw life
Without upset family members

It’s the kind of direct hit that QOTSA so often scores, melodic but swinging. But there’s an evident humanity at the core. More to the point, there’s humour too. Maybe this will sustain the interest levels. The pumping bass and fat synth sounds drive Worms and the closing Shrimp Shack ended up with stage diving and crowd surfing, a bracing end to a Monday evening school night instore gig.

I’m really enjoying the album. Whether it has the legs to last the year may be up for question given its immediacy but at the moment, frankly, who cares?

 

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Viagra Boys coming down post-Rough Trade

 


Written by stue1967

After taking several readings, I'm surprised to find my mind's still fairly sound

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