These are the Viagra Boys.

Description: Post-punk, edgy, indie rock band from Stockholm, Sweden.

The lightening rod of focused energy seems to erupt from frontman/vocalist Sebastian Murphy. A gravel-laced vocal presence dripping in tattoos. His lyrics are combative and shouted, but hold a poets soul. 

“Slow Learner know nothing ’bout history
Don’t care for politics, he don’t know how to read
He don’t get stressed out, he need to take it easy
He don’t need no friends, he don’t need sex, no TV
Slow Learner!”

Formed in 2015, the unit is relatively young. Their first release was titled, “Street Worms” (2008 – Label: YEAR0001).

Street Worms – YEAR0001

There is a dark humor that runs through Viagra Boys… as if the band’s name didn’t already clue you in that these guys are taking the piss out of everyone. Musically, it’s tempo pushing rumbly bass, jagged guitars, a bit of sax, and Murphy’s constant shouting. You can’t really call what he does ‘singing’, but it’s done with so much personality, it becomes its own uncomfortable beast.

Witness the vocal melt-down at the end of ‘Sports’, one of their catchiest and most immediate songs. What was previously a repeated chorus of “Sports”, becomes a dissolving vocal goat-like bleating of the word by the end of the song. Murphy is as crazy as his tattoos. This was the track that turned us on to this band…

If you are confused as to what the hell Murphy is talking about in that song, join the club.

“Volleyball
Naked girls
And naked boys
Do the dance
Down on the beach
Smoking dope
Short shorts
Cigarette
Getting high in the morning
Buying things off the internet”

But it doesn’t have to make sense. It just has to sound cool. And it does. You know it does.

Another rippin’ track off that same album is a song called, ‘Slow Learner’. A pounding rocker with a bully of a bass-line and frenetic saxophone accents. Again, Murphy’s intense vocal presence somehow rises above the already commanding music. Don’t be fooled by the noise punk freak-out of an intro, the track pulls into a razor sharp rocker. You CANNOT deny the power of the bass that drives this number.

The band’s second album is called, “Welfare Jazz” and is slated for a 2021 release. Since this is being written in the middle of a pandemic, the band is probably on a touring hiatus, like the rest of the music industry. *sigh.

Welfare Jazz – YEAR0001

The first video from that album is a perky, quirky track called, ‘Ain’t Nice’. The whole first half of the video is basically a one-take shot of Murphy, stumbling through the streets… being… not nice. I kinda wish the video would have stuck with that one shot idea and just carried through the whole song. But Murphy gets tased by a kid whose scooter he had stolen… and the video takes a weird turn from there. But the song is catchy and right in the pocket for the Viagra Boys style.

Youtube is such a great resource for learning about bands. Here is a decent interview with a few of the Viagra Boys, so you can get a vibe on their weird sense of humor that bleeds into their music.

When the band was touring, they were featured on a lot of festival bills.

         

Fact: 3% of Sebastian Murphy’s total body mass is tattoos.

Wading through multiple Viagra Boys videos, a sort of theme emerges of Murphy ‘confronting’ society around him as he wrestles with his bands music. He seems to be confident and comfortable placing himself in unorthodox environments, that shouldn’t work for a rock video… but Murphy wallows in the awkward and owns it. Witness, ‘Research Chemicals’. A grinding rocker with flairs of electronic buzz on the accents that finds Murphy ‘performing’ the song in the middle of a restaurant. It’s a bizarre choice, but then again, Viagra Boys are a bizarre band.

Viagra Boys seem to be mining something unique while keeping their roots firmly planted in post-punk/indie-rock foundations. While the band notably has a strength in Murphy’s attention commanding presence, they’ve also got the hooks and the songs. You can paint with all the right colors, and still end up with a shitty painting. Viagra Boys are using colors few have thought to combine, and Murphy is a whole new spectrum of light unto himself. The result is a band that spews forth a brilliant, manic, twisted style that is uniquely their own. Bravo Viagra boys. Bravo.

“They said I could bring a +1…”