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Viagra Boys: “Sports”

Open Mic Controller | 11/07/2018

On their absurd and hilarious new single, the Stockholm garage punk band Viagra Boys parody a particularly American brand of masculinity. The song is, after all, called “Sports,” and a good bulk of the lyrics involve naming different types of balls: Baseballs, basketballs, and beach balls all bounce around the song, emphasized with relish in a comically low voice by frontman Sebastian Murphy. Meanwhile, a hefty mid-tempo drumbeat and a meaty bassline keeps things moving along, joined by a scuzzy three-note guitar riff.

The beach party described in the lyrics gets more and more surreal and lurid as the song unfolds: Somehow, everyone’s both naked and wearing short shorts. People ski through the surf, smoke cigarettes and dope, and eat wiener dogs. Suggestive imagery abounds, and as the music grows in tension, the vocals become more and more deranged. Murphy screams “SPORTS!” at the climax in unhinged exasperation, stuttering and spitting out the word like he needed to defend his manhood at all costs. The song is a perfect indictment of the sort of sweaty, brittle masculinity that tends toward overcompensation. What do you do when your identity is on the fritz—when the real, abject experience of being human catches up to you despite your attempts to dude it away? Smoke a joint, eat some meat, scream the name of every single sport you can think of.

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https://pitchfork.com/reviews/tracks/viagra-boys-sports/

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