Stockholm post-punk hero’s V**gra Boys (**= “ia” because spam FILTERS) have shared a new album Welfare Jazz, on January 8th via YEAR0001. The album is produced by Matt Sweeney (Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Run the Jewels), Justin and Jeremiah Raisen (Yves Tumor, Kim Gordon, Sky Ferreira) as well as past collaborators Pelle Gunnerfeldt and Daniel Fagerström (The Hives, The Knife). Ever the band drenched in satire, they return with their brand of horn-filled, searing post-punk and rejection of standard genre trope’s to deftly lay waste to society’s normalization of toxic masculinity, racism, misogyny, classism, and self-obsession. Even the album’s title has a layer of satirical depth; the transliteration from Swedish of the term used for the government’s financial support of jazz musicians cuts to the quick of institutionalized classism and prioritization. “I’m not good at talking about politics, but everything is political when it comes down to it,” explains singer Sebastian Murphy. “I’d rather write a song about being defeated, which usually comes from a real place and says a lot.” The micro bleeds into the macro with the new record as Murphy continues, “We wrote these songs at a time when I had been in a long-term relationship, taking drugs every day, and being an asshole. I didn’t really realize what an asshole I was until it was too late, and a lot of the record has to do with coming to terms with the fact that I’d set the wrong goals for myself.”
Murphy, who has established himself as a drunken yet conscious stumbler in past videos, reprises the role for the new video “Ain’t Nice,” but this time wreaking havoc along with way. Stealing scooters, jackets, disrupting otherwise leisurely picnics Murphy leaves no innocent bystander left unbothered. He then time travels to the 18th century, surrounded by servants donning powdered wigs. The track and video coyly mock the patriarchal macho relationship drama of “classic” post-punk via a full-throated snarl, cement-cracking bass lines, and pinprick synths.