Viagra Boys — Cave World — Album Review

Alternative | Rock | Post-Punk

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

Viagra Boys were a band that I first discovered through the release of their 2021 album Welfare Jazz. This was the sophomore record from the group, following the incredibly well-received debut, Street Worms (which I discovered afterward courtesy of the amazing single “Sports”).

But while I would at least agree that Street Worms was well-deserving of the praise it got, I wouldn’t say that I felt the same towards Welfare Jazz. When comparing that album to its predecessor, the more punk-rock feel of the first record was something that I wanted to hear more of going forward.

But now we arrive in 2022, where just over a year later, Viagra Boys now follow up Welfare Jazz with their third studio album, titled Cave World. Given the nature of their sophomore album however, I was at the very least anxious about going into this one.

Fortunately, however, those anxieties were all unnecessary.

Coming as what could possibly be the most pleasant musical surprise of 2022 (which is saying something, as there have been lots of them), Cave World absolutely slaps! The punk-rock feel I was hoping for has returned in full force. And alongside it, comes a wacky yet engaging narrative, and some brilliantly enjoyable bangers.

Lead singer Sebastian Murphy’s vocals certainly makes each project a unique experience (for better, or for worse). however, the musical framework of Cave World; one that oozes with that modern post-punk aura, goes hand in hand with such vocal performances. This results in the album being one that listeners don’t need to take too seriously, while also being an incredibly engaging project at the same time.

But what really impressed me about Cave World, was the fact that it had much more of a well-rounded narrative than I previously anticipated. For example, I never thought that a track like “Return To Monke” would make so much sense in the grand scheme of the album itself. The way I picked up on said narrative, suggested that it was focused on the idea of the state of the human race, and a regression to a more caveman-like state.

But in contrast to that, Cave World does carry quite a few interludes too; ones that I initially mistook for being tacked onto another track that was actually either before or after. Without that, many of these interludes mainly felt like nothing but pure ambience. It certainly doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the album, but they don’t contribute much either.

But that’s the only real gripe I have with the album, and it is a very small one of that if anything. The truth is, Cave World stands as a defining project when it comes to representing the very best aspects of Viagra boys as a band. I honestly believe that no other artist would be able to pull off this kind of album quite like Viagra Boys does.

What initially started out as an experience that I was only really delving into for the sake of bulking up July’s catalogue of musical reviews, ended up being one of the highlights of my musical year. Viagra Boys really had pulled out all the stops with the masterpiece that is Cave World. And going forward, I feel that this album will stand gloriously as a very important project in the scope of the band’s discography.

Favourite Tracks: Troglodyte | Ain’t No Thief | Big Boy | Return To Monke

Least Favourite Tracks: any of the interludes

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Final Score: 88%

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Joe Boothby

Joe Boothby

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.