Viagra Boys
Viagra Boys

Viagra Boys

About Viagra Boys

Generating a singular brand of noisy chaos, Swedish post-punk band Viagra Boys fuse pounding hard rock grooves, minimalist melodies, discordant guitar and sax, and howling vocals into an uncompromised volley of sound. Fascinated with drugs, anger, and the evils of male privilege, Viagra Boys became a cult phenomenon in their homeland before word spread throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, and North America about their punishing and articulate approach. After making their recording debut and setting their creative template with the 2016 EP Consistency of Energy, Viagra Boys both refined and sharpened their signature sound on their first full-length album, 2018's Street Worms. The album's strong critical reception helped bolster enthusiasm for their follow-up, Welfare Jazz, which appeared in early 2021.
Viagra Boys formed in 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden. Tattoo artists Henrik Höckert and Sebastian Murphy (the latter born in San Francisco but living in Stockholm) met through a mutual acquaintance and went out for a night of drinking. The two ended up at a karaoke bar, and after hearing Murphy belt out a unique version of Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together," Höckert decided they needed to form a band. With Murphy on lead vocals and Höckert on bass, they recruited guitarist Benjamin Vallé, who had previously worked with Höckert in the group Nitad. With the addition of drummer Sol Tor Sjödén, the core of the group was complete and they began writing songs.
By the time Viagra Boys started playing out in June 2015, they'd added Oskar Karls on sax and producer Martin Ehrencrona on keyboards. By 2016, they decided it was time to document their music, and they cut a four-song EP, Consistency of Energy, issued by Kosmos Recordings. The Push My Buttons label brought out their second record, the 2017 EP Call of the Wild, but for their first full-length album, 2018's Street Worms, they signed with Year0001 Records, putting them on the same label as Swedish rapper Yung Lean. If the band was uncomfortable with the association, they didn't show it, and Street Worms got enthusiastic reviews while the tracks "Sports" and "Just Like You" earned enough streaming plays and video views to raise their following beyond the underground. Viagra Boys' unpredictable live show was documented on a 2019 concert recording, Shrimp Sessions, that was released only in Japan. In April 2020, Viagra Boys were back with their first studio recordings since Street Worms, a forceful four-song EP titled Common Sense. This was followed in January 2021 by Welfare Jazz, their chaotic and subversively satirical sophomore full-length. ~ Mark Deming