Review Summary: Back on track...
Viagra Boys realized the songs they pull off best are the ones you can dance to. Welfare Jazz
didn’t offer much on that front, so an album that uses "Shrimp Shack", "Ain’t Nice" and "Sports" as templates for main grooves will do just fine. As the band worked on adding little details to the latest bangers, front man Sebastian Murphy collected all the crazy conspiracy theories and internet culture stupidity stories he could find, applying them to his expanding irreverent, cynical collection of lyrics. If there is someone who can bluntly narrate the tragicomic events from these past two ridiculous years, Murphy is the one. Thankfully, the music clicks with his delivery this time, Cave World
offering an unsettling representation of society today and its eccentricities. There’s a downward spiral for everything and everyone, they just have to be discovered. What’s most important is to remain true to yourself and have fun even when things spin out of control.
Songs such as "Troglodyte", "Creepy Crawlers" or "Return to Monke" spew sardonic observations over pumping beats, complete with noisy saxophone and guitar leads. The electronic elements hovering over them add to the slightly cartoonish vibe the band builds. In the meantime, "Punk Rock Loser" will make you feel like an asshole while dancing to it. The tune is probably the most effortlessly catchy Viagra Boys single since "Sports". Another interesting cut is "The Cognitive Trade-Off Hypothesis", featuring a smooth bass line and synth pop sensibilities. Moreover, "ADD" goes all the way into electronic territory with its minimalist structure and clean vocals. The group worked on diversifying the approach mainly to the formulas fleshed out on their debut LP. This is why it works better than most of the tracks on Welfare Jazz
. There is less pretentiousness in the instrumentals. Even the dumbest moment here sinks in to a certain degree. "Big Boy" is a collaboration with Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson that goes full retard. What admittedly started as a drunk jam with ‘70s rock/blues tendencies, ended up as a blend of ’97 Blur/early Gorillaz trip with stupid lyrics. It’s nowhere near the band’s best tunes, but it’s dumb fun. That is what makes Cave World
enjoyable though. It goes from caustically smart presented social observations to absurd, childish rants, while keeping you dancing. I’m glad Viagra Boys found their niche without losing any of their edge.