Re-issue on Heavy Vinyl.
Last album ”Distractions” on Upset the Rhythm has done very nicely so a repress here is timely. An evolving band of young future humans making truly irregular punk not quite comparable to anything else; Sauna Youth’s debut long-player, ‘DREAMLANDS’ was a joint release between Gringo Records and Faux Discx.
The band, attracted to the possibilities apparent within a DIY philosophy have been self-recording and self-releasing their own music since 2010, creating a number of 7”s splits and cassettes. Weird' is a meaningless platitude, and 'art punk' is a classifier that shouldn't be required.
Sauna Youth journey into the far-reaching wilds of the unfolding psyche and feast on the chaos within, quickly collapsing any pre-conceived notions within minutes of impolite introduction. The LP is a lyrical commentary on being addicted to the distractions preventing engagement with real life; unbreakable routines, relationships based on silence and mindless sex, repetitive and superficial interaction.
This is not a dull lecture on disaffection, it is the dawning realisation in hundred-mile-anhour downstrokes, hypnotic samples going off like permanent alarms and competing vocals. The 5 track offering, found on the B-side, commences with a furious and bracing rush of noise bearing a dissatisfied narrative.
‘PLANNED DESIGNS’ leads with the dissection of artistic conventions and a treatise on space, the space we inhabit and the space we can alter and form for our own needs and desires, a dual-vocal declaring, “Works of art of nothing/Works of art from nothing/Works of art of nothing but works of art.../We want somewhere to play”. A collective frustration reigns; it rings from the impulsive, fizzing spill of ‘SNAPBACK’, gathering in the blunt pace of ‘PSI GIRLS’; an eloquent reflection of the lost ability to communicate.
The careering ‘VISCOUNT DISCOUNT’ chronicles the trap of enforced life choices (“Remits, Compromise, Boxes to tick/Straight, Narrow, Guidelines, rules cut to fit/There's a mind just disengaged”) and all accumulates with the knowing desperation of ‘HAIRSTYLES’, darkly delivered over the hardest unrelenting 4/4 backbeat.
The A-side carries ‘TOWN CALLED DISTRACTION’, a spoken-word short story written by Patrick Fisher (of Cold Pumas) and Sauna Youth’s own Harper Ecke, read by Martha Orchard (of Edible Arrangements) and Bobby Krlic (The Haxan Cloak), that serves as an introduction to the created world in which the characters and narratives of the band thus far have inhabited, gripped by an instrumental that careers with visceral energy.
Artistic affinities are pledged to Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Pissed Jeans and The Intelligence, but as Kurt Cobain once asked “Why can’t we be both Black Sabbath and The Beatles?”, Sauna Youth consistently and urgently pose the question, ‘Why can’t we be both The Ramones and Steve Reich?.
1. Town Called Distraction
2. Planned Designs
4. PSI Girls
5. Viscount Discount