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Welfare Jazz Image
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the Swedish post-punk band led by Sebastian Murphy features production from Daniel Fagerström, Pelle Gunnerfeldt, Matt Sweeney, Justin and Jeremiah Raisen.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Jan 7, 2021
    100
    The sound on Welfare Jazz may be more of the same glam-phetamine trash disko bomp that made the first record so distinctive – a ramshackle wad of low-end guitars that spit and burn like chip pan fires and boisterous oft intoxicated vocals with a surplus of undulating sax – but there’s something else that’s been added to their arsenal, something that was hiding in plain sight all along. The protagonist of these songs may not be all that apologetic as he pontificates of his transgressions, but he is at least man enough to put his grubby hands up and forewarn friends and lovers that he’s a little damaged. It’s a good start.
  2. 80
    These are powerful, thoughtful songs that stand up to hours of repeated listening, and always raise a smile in the process.
  3. ‘Welfare Jazz’ sees them sidestep any so-called second album slump. There’s no huge reinvention of sound – except for some country-ish sounds, typified by the Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn-style call-and-answer ‘In Spite Of Ourselves’, a punk hoedown with Amyl and the Sniffers‘ Amy Taylor – but a definite reinvention of mindset.
  4. Jan 11, 2021
    80
    By deconstructing these narratives and putting the listener in the midst of these drug-addled tales of street life Viagra Boys construct a thematically rich follow up to their debut, accompanied by a frenzied post-punk concoction that becomes more rewarding with every listen.
  5. 75
    There will be no sophomore slump for Viagra Boys. At its best, Welfare Jazz represents an evolutionary step from Street Worms that’s tighter, tougher, and more riotous than what came before. That same evolution even lifts the record’s missteps. There are failures, but at least they’re interesting failures.
  6. Jan 12, 2021
    70
    Some experiments don’t add much to the listening experience, but don’t detract either. The story telling is very up front, yet the confidence and attitude never passes into obnoxious, parody of oneself territory. As a result, Welfare Jazz remains a tight effort that hopefully acts as a transition to a richer sonic canvas.
  7. Jan 8, 2021
    60
    The issue here isn’t intent; it’s execution. But when Viagra Boys are completely focused, they’re still fantastic.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jan 18, 2021
    9
    The second full-length album of the Post Punk Swedish band Viagra Boys’ “Welfare Jazz" is such a delight. This LP is full of eclectic soundsThe second full-length album of the Post Punk Swedish band Viagra Boys’ “Welfare Jazz" is such a delight. This LP is full of eclectic sounds from its punchy drums, vibey instrumentation with a mix of saxophone, electronic, lo-fi beats, guitars, piano and aggressive vocals of Sebastian Murphy. The LP has a strong start with “Ain’t Nice” this track has an in your face beat and vocals with grungy and thick bass on the background. This album also contains various interludes with dreamy saxophones and a splash of spoken words in tracks like "Coldplay" and "6 Shooter"
    The band incorporates dark humor and satire in their lyrics. The following tracks like "Toad", "Creatures", "I Feel Alive", and "Girls & Boys" celebrate the themes of being an underdog surviving the hypocrisy of our society and messed up world.

    The album also tackles break up and how to earn back one’s love in the song “Into the Sun” followed by my favorite track in this LP “Creatures” which has a groovy sound mix with new wave beats and a vibe reminiscent of David Byrne of Talking Heads.

    This album also has variety of humor where the band is always giving homage to dogs in the spoken words of tracks like “This Old Dog”, “Best in Show Ii” and the very upbeat “Secret Canine Agent”. This theme also spilled over to track 12 “To the Country” which is a pleasant surprise about falling in love and moving out to a country with their dogs and living a simple life. The closing track of this LP is a cover of John Prime's "In Spite of Ourselves" with Amy Taylor from the Australian punk band Amyl and the Sniffers which is a strong finish to the album tackling the happy ending of falling in love with a punk/country kick in it.

    I enjoyed listening to this rich, eclectic, artsy and entertaining post-punk album of Viagra boys giving a personal 8.5/10 rating.
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  2. Jan 8, 2021
    9
    an experience within itself, in your face clarity mixed with distorted honesty and emotion