New Band of the Day #193: Viagra Boys

“Lots of sports/ Lots of sports/ Sports/ Sports

Who: Benke, Benis, Tor, Sebbe, Martin, Rasmus, Konie

What: Garage Rock, Garage Punk, Ironically Drinking Keystone Light

Where: Stockholm, Sweden

Why: Viagra Boy’s “Sports” is a rare example of one of the few songs in any given year that I find funny. Maybe it’s because I’m too picky, but I mean, musical comedy is just so often entirely pointless. Other than the indomitable Weird Al, there just isn’t much that I find funny about songs working in a traditional music space. Writing jokes over top some generic throwaway instrumental just holds no appeal for me, I mean why not just say the damn joke? Why sing it? You could better prepare and time a joke if you didn’t have to keep such a relentless tempo. Instead I find my funny bone only gets tickled if an artist does something interesting like make the format of the song itself the joke.

Songs like last year “S.A.D.” from Kirin J Callinan, originator and architect of the screaming cowboy meme, are incredible because the song functions not only as format parody but also as aesthetically challenging music. Taking the 80s pop drug fetishism and turning into a completely absurd, ego-driven post-pop madhouse is funny in a way that tickles you more and more the more you peel it back.

Now take “Sports” by Viagra Boys:

It’s a joke entirely based on taking the iconic garage-rock machismo and turning it into genuine cave troll levels of stupidity. Something that the lyrics won’t  necessarily communicate without the form to expound on. Depending entirely on that moment where the vocals degenerate into a completely monotone chanting of machismo symbology like it’s some sort of archaic ritual. It’s a joke that requires knowledge of the genre, a knowledge of the format, but also a willingness to laugh at these pieces of information you’ve probably gained through passion for the genre.

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