Sauna Youth are an intriguing band. The name alone immediately makes one think of another band altogether. All the more interesting is the thought process that has seemingly gone into the creation of their three albums to date. The three records make up a trilogy, and a fine one at that. ‘Deaths’ is the final of the three, released earlier this month through Upset! The Rhythm.
The band gave themselves just five months from booking studio time to make an album, giving this recording a very immediate urgency.
There would have been little time to make drastic changes to the songs, to procrastinate over lyrics. The songs rarely tip over the three minute mark, the longest being the excellent “Distracted” clocking in at 3 minutes 11 seconds (although the final 40 seconds is a field recording!).
The album starts as it means to go on, the fast 4/4 beats spoken/shouted lyrics and discordant guitars of “Percentages”, the catchy hooks of “Unreal City”. The band keeps it simple for the most part and this makes it an awful lot of fun.
“In Flux” is the sort of song you just want to jump around the living room to and even features a full on guitar solo. Repetition is key here. “Problems” emphasises this to the point that the verses consist of only the title being repeated.
Despite there having been little time to produce this album there are some interesting textures. “No Personal Space” fuzzes out in bursts in the chorus, before the whole song ends completely fuzzed out. It sounds like the song actually breaks, with the synth lead ramble of “The Patio” cutting in.
Despite there not really being any let up in pace or any major left field turns from the formula, until the eery penultimate track “Swerve”, the short tracks ensure this doesn’t become a chore to listen to.
All this confirms Sauna Youth as one of the most exciting punk bands in the UK.
You may enjoy this if you like: Sonic Youth, The Fall, Trash Kit