Viagra Boys Take Creative Liberty and Evolve Punk Sounds on ‘Cave World’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

Photo Credit: Kristen Thoen

The Viagra Boys new LP Cave World deserves as many listens as you have stamina for – several times and through various cars, PA systems, headphones, and computer stacks. This is necessary to get a full scope of what the band and their endless collective of surrounding talent put into their third full-length. As with all of Viagra Boys’ output, there is an element of “what are they gonna do now?” But all music worth merit grows on open and experienced ears. 

One of the world’s premier rock bands continue on their sleepless campaign of developing older influences and genres into their own fresh and unique performance. It’s filled with all the usual treats – insatiable grooves, minimal but poignant guitar work, dark vocal sarcasm, and driving intelligent sax and synth work (not to under sell the genius of each contributor). It has plenty for the traditional fan, but part of the genius is their creative freedom, understanding punk as a value not a genre. In a span of three EPs and three LPs, they have evolved. What was a modern sounding, idiosyncratic post-punk band is now an outlet for the members to express themselves however they want. No holds bared. They’ve somehow gotten heavier and poppier at the same time. Somehow they can write about current controversial taboo subjects and contort them into a musical cartoon that feels like 2022: A Space Oddity. Drawing from one of their obvious influences, these themes focus on humanity’s inability to evolve and read into the truths of society. They are constantly making reference to apes, guns, linked sources, vaccines, computers, crime, and the confused state of these worsening crises. The only difference is that Devo are themed in de-evolution, while the Viagra Boys are denying evolution ever occurred. This euro-American band lets you know where they stand with stinging humor. It’s also worth noting that the album art is unmistakably the deranged work of cartoonist Moa Romanova, and it fits perfectly with the lyricism and sonic prowess of the twelve-song LP.

From the few singles they’ve released to the soon to be hits off of Cave World, they are no doubt trying to widen their audience. But you can’t help but think they just don’t care, in the best way. They’ve unsubscribed to a version of punk or rock that places any sort of limitations on itself. They just want to make weird shit and command crowds with it every night. If history repeats itself, Shrimp Sessions 3 and the CW Deluxe version are on the way. 

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One Response

  1. The artwork for “Cave World” is actually made by Sebastian’s girlfriend, cartoonist Moa Romanova.

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