Release Date: Jun 8, 2015
Record label: Upset the Rhythm
The London quartet Sauna Youth have two very important things going for them: boundless energy and great songs. Their second album, Distractions, is a whiplash-inducing burst of noise built on furiously strummed guitars, shouted vocals (mostly male but with some nice balance from Jen Calleja), and the kind of superhuman drumming that would wipe out mere mortals should they attempt to replicate it at home. Capturing the same feeling as the best noise bands throughout the modern era, like the Fall, Sonic Youth, and the Wedding Present, Sauna Youth make sure to add songs that are easy to sing along with, jump up and down to, and be knocked out by.
Since the release of their first LP ‘Dreamlands’ in 2012, Richard Phoenix, Jen Calleja, Lindsay Corstorphine and Christopher Murphy have become, as proclaimed by the group themselves, the “ultimate form” of Sauna Youth. Having developed a distaste with modern life and the “technology age” as we know it, the group return with their second record and a point to make. ‘Distractions’ is a tense and utterly incensed record, a controlled racket that doesn’t hang around for a second longer than it needs to.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Bursting with tight, frantic, post-punk fire and jittery, art school outsiderness, Sauna Youth can't help but generate the feel of a long lost John Peel Session from the early eighties. Angular guitars rage and spasm at every turn, shouty rants punch hard, spoken word poems unsettle and the spirit of DIY empowerment reigns large.
If you're coming to London-based post-punk four-piece Sauna Youth as a new listener, then the first thing to point out is that their name is something of a misnomer. Although definitely too young to remember first-hand the DC hardcore scene that occasionally perforates their sound – on this record best captured within the blistering delirium of ninety second rager 'Abstract Notions' – they're probably old enough to recognise that Loud & Quiet's recent comparison of them to Parklife-era Blur might be more than just a music journo shorthand. Not that they share similar politics to the aspiration of Albarn et al – the group are a fiercely independently-minded set of musicians who also play in several other bands, namely Cold Pumas, Primitive Parts, Feature, and Tense Men.
You know about the big releases each week, but what about those smaller albums which may have passed underneath your radar. Don’t miss out on the smaller, lesser-known gems which might become some of your favourites. We’ve rounded up seven of the best new album releases from this week: catch up ….
The word “collective” can be a tricky term. When it comes down to it, the meeting of musical minds and trading of ideas can often lead to friction, break ups, and even the occasional punch up. But in the case of London based four-piece Sauna Youth, the concept seems to be a fitting one, and it’s clear the various participants are far from launching into a round of fisticuffs.