Watching Viagra Boys you can’t help but revel in the knowledge that you’re witnessing something instantly iconic and also slightly Marmite in taste. We went to see the Swedish band at perform live at Rough Trade East.

Carrying an intensity comparable to any blazoned – natural phenomenon imaginable, (be it thunderstorms or in an Odyssey sense) the sextet are unnervingly attractive in their twice spat out, dripping Neck Oil on the dancefloor and sweaty glamour. Within the eight months since their debut release, these grown men have amassed a highly desired reputation come cult like status within today’s punk revivalist scene, truth fuelled theatrics cravers and general ‘in-crowd’. In an age of environmental rebellion surely, it’s about time we added satirical angst shrimps to our lists as well?

No venue more fitting for such Monday evening ugliness could’ve been chosen than London’s offbeat haven Rough Trade East. Smack in the midst of looming festival season jitters, frontman Sebastian Murphy surges to the stage with bewitching authority and moves reminiscent of a drunk uncle at the wedding reception. Sporadic and gangly he turns the 200-capacity store into a wasteland disco that’s mind numbingly sparse, confusing and stress relieving. Murphy oozed lowkey swagger and, with shades to match, appeared fervidly unware of his influence within the room: “This is a song about maths” he announces before cruising into Slow Learner– a straight to the point commentary with no warm up. Whilst the basslines rumbled with itchy possessiveness and remaining instruments followed suit in a similar fog, it wasn’t until shirts came off that the group fully settled into their class act of finely tuned and conflictingly unhinged feral perfection.

As the in-store began to establish itself brash and proud, the signature droned fuzz and spoken word of ‘Shrimp Shack’ kicked in. There’s so much fuzz and oddball spoken word in fact that a Grinderman comparison could be made but, that’s ultimately not what we’re here for; rather, with madness for days and a touch of divine non-conformities, at all times you’d be forgiven for not fully grasping what was going on. Once accustomed to the grotty shivers and scrawling absurdities it was inevitable that as soon as the opening snare sparked for crowd favourite ‘SPORTS’ (SPOOOOOOOOOORTS) a lustrous buzzed energy possessed the band, guests and staff alike like dazed moths trapped feverishly inside a leaky gaslight. Never half arsed but technically questionable, Murphy blessed all with stage push ups and deadpan hypnotisms giving the crowd everything needed to carry themselves over the shoulders of the rows in front and into an upside-down universe of wiener dogs and baseballs.

Thankfully, the evening wasn’t all relentless macho chaos as ‘Just Like You’ gave way to a much-needed post- ‘Sports’ slow groove and allowed breaths to be caught and heart rates to slow (even if only for a little while). For the more novice fans numbers such as ‘Amphetanarchy’ are easily trackable post the inevitable ‘I really need this record signed and, in my life,’ purchase as almost everything sounded exactly as it says on the label; namely, like a relentless instrumental migraine that can’t be tempered and bears an effect equal parts frustrating and exhilarating.

In the end only one question remains from the night. How did six Swedish grown- up punks in all their finest caricature, indoor sunglasses and hypothetical sports leave us wanting more?

See more of what’s on at Rough Trade East.