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New Viagra Boys Album Delivers Ups and Downs

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In music it seems that most of the time, honesty is the best policy. Even when you’re a fan of an artist, there’s no reason to sugar coat the obvious. With Stockholm’s Viagra Boys, we’ve been fans for a good while. Their post punk graced with synth fuzz and brass touches has always given us chills in its representation. Even their last EP Common Sense made our Favorite EPs of 2020 list. However their latest reveal Welfare Jazz doesn’t come up to muster. When it hits it hits hard but when it doesn’t it leaves you more bewildered than anything else.

The opening track “Ain’t Nice” definitely hits you where you want a band like this to hit. The catchy stride,  the gutter drenched tones and the in your face vocals deliver the goods from beginning to end. The same can be said about the track “Toad.” Slower with talk sing vocals, the song gives the tongue-in-cheek attitude that the band has become familiar with. The tracks that are actual tracks work well here. The little vignettes however leave little to desire, as do the songs that have a less intense direction.

Where songs like “Creatures” head in a more new wave graced post punk sound and “6 Shooter” have a more traditional post punk pacing, there are tracks that fall flat too. “Into the Sun” is trite and boring, “I Feel Alive” is meandering and without much merit and “To the Country” seems to never go anywhere. With that said we love the energy behind the John Prine cover of “In Spite of Ourselves” but the favored track here is “Secret Canine Agent.” The dark wave touches that creep in to the fevered post punk tones are masterful. The weird little blips of sound offer a bizarre touch that only Viagra Boys could pull off. The album as a whole isn’t bad, but where it falls it falls flat on its face.

The album can be purchased in various formats directly from Year 0001. It’s also available in all digital outlets or it can be streamed on all services. Viagra Boys will be on tour starting May 19 at Conne Island in Lepzig, DE until December 01 in Milan, IT at Magazzini Generali. Their complete touring schedule can be accessed here.

Image Credits: Photo by Fredrik Bengtssson.

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David Garrick

David Garrick has spent the last five years interviewing some of the most intriguing and engaging artists performing today. Everyone from Angel Olsen to Phoebe Bridgers, Wire to Yo La Tengo, Snail Mail to Soccer Mommy, Ghost to First Aid Kit, The Breeders to Protomartyr, and many more. He's a giant fan of music of pretty much any genre; but especially to the underdogs. He's been known to see more concerts in a week than many people will see in a year.

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