I’m not certain that we have collectively learned anything as a species since this time last year. Let's call that the impetus for a new record from Viagra Boys (VB). Fear not, for it is time to be indoctrinated in the way of anarcho-primitivism.
Cave World opener “Baby Criminal” has the Welfare Jazz trademark trembling saxophone reverberating-out-of-a-sewer-pipe-somewhere off-the-bat, immediately unrolling the proverbial spaghetti-western greenscreen backdrop we’ve come to love from these Stockholm outlaws. For lack of a better phrase, the VB are firing-on-all-cylinders right-out-of-the-gate. “Baby Criminal” is a fun and punchy number that still doesn’t clue-you-in whatsoever as to what's in store.
The music gutters are solid based on the first three cuts; song number two being a transitionally liminal thirty-nine second moment that makes the proceeding "Troglodye" hit harder.
“Troglodyte” leans into the monkey-business quite literally.
Starting off with the lyrics “[...] I can’t believe what I read last night”, “Creepy Crawlers” is another liminal moment that feels more substantive than its length and instrumentation give it credit for. Absolutely pulling-off making fun of anti-vaxxers and Q-Anon nutters by role-playing in earnest is a high-point on the album:
“You wonder why those people up at the top look so young? I’ll tell you why!
They’re harvesting babies for adrenochrome! They’re injecting adrenochrome to keep their skin all shiny; it reduces wrinkling, and makes their pupils look like human pupils and not all slanted [like] little lizard eyes.”[...]They’re putting microchips in the vaccine and they’re putting creepy crawlers in the microchips!”
“Creepy Crawlers” comes to the same natural conclusion as does “Sports” from Street Worms. Call it either a Devo-esque-devolution, a fitting amalgamation, or an explosion of energy, but either seminal track utilize the same slow-build-to-eventual-climax structure.
“ADD” is heavy on the synthesizers from the first moments, but it gives frontman Sebastian Murphy ample room to sing a great tune without having to scream for once. It’s reminiscent of the off-putting though welcome electro found on Welfare Jazz opener “Ain’t Nice”.
The first thing that came to mind when I read the title “Cave World” was the infamous 4chan trad-pill meme-condemnation of the “bug-eating” and “pod” lifers, or, rather, being leased-in to an apartment and work-life imbalance wherein your only freedom is in choosing what media and processed foods to consume.
But what the VB are insinuating here goes deeper than that. “The Cognitive Trade-Off Hypothesis”, for instance, is focused on romanticizing not only pre-industrialization, but pre-humanization as well.
The closing number, “Return To Monke” is literally just the name of the meme. In fact, VB are singing about primates as early as the third song!
It wasn’t until the last song on Cave World that I understood the theme a little bit more, somewhat, I think. When Murphy croons “Out here in your local jungle, ain’t nobody vaccinated”, they’re essentially saying that if you are among the anti-vax constituent; why not commit? Why do you even pay taxes? If you’re unwilling to get the jab, what's keeping you from leaving everything behind, accepting anarcho-primitivism fully, and embracing your ferality? You’re welcome to “Leave // society // be // a monkey”. After all, “They can’t shoot [you] up with no 5G // if [you’re] a monkey living in the tree.”
All of this begs to ask:
a. what is Shrimptech Enterprises?
b. what is The Cave World?
c. who the fuck are Viagra Boys?
d. what are any of us doing here?
These aren’t questions we need to concern ourselves with, so long as we stay in The Cave. That is, to embrace our inner and inherent anarcho-primitivism. But since you asked:
a. Shrimptech Enterprises is the name of the VB fandom, à la “Beliebers”, Lady Gaga’s “Little Monsters”, or BTS’ “Army”.
b. the Cave World has got to be an extended-metaphor for ignorance.
c. a post-punk outfit from Stockholm, Sweden.
d. biding our time.
The very good Cave World by Viagra Boys is recommended for fans of The Black Angels, Night Beats, IDLES, Parquet Courts, King Gizzard et al., Oh Sees, Arctic Monkeys, Yard Act, and dare-I-say Violent Femmes and The Clash.