Viagra Boys – Welfare Jazz

How many times do you see a suggestion for new music on YouTube or Spotify and it stops you in your tracks? Have you ever ordered a record after hearing just a minute or two?

That happened to me with this album. Welfare Jazz popped up as a suggestion on Spotify and after listening to half a song, I was searching on Discogs for a copy of the record.

I love punk vocals coupled with non-traditional punk sounds. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of punk rock to go around on this album. There is some heavy influence from The Clash. It also has a lot of fuzzy vocals and is clearly rooted in garage rock.

And then there are touches of rockabilly with fun basslines from a stand-up bass.

However, there are sounds that I don’t normally associate with punk rock. There are funky and jazzy jams from the thread of horns that runs throughout the record. And more than a little 80s new wave.

And out of the blue….a haunting cover of John Prine’s classic In Spite of Ourselves. And somehow it works!

Welfare Jazz is an amalgamation of musical styles that have been run through an indie punk filter. It is a little all over the place, but it doesn’t feel disjointed. It has a nice flow and enough consistency to keep it all connected if you listen from start to finish.

One track, my favorite track, sounds like The Doors and Elvis somehow teamed up together in a garage in Heaven for a jam session. It’s fantastic.

This is a beautifully strange rock n roll record that your friends don’t own. Buy it and be the guy who introduces people to this band.

My favorite track: Toad

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