Sauna Youth sure have stuck to their guns. This is their third album of aloof noise punk. They even released an extra record as a ‘side project’ in which they played other aloof noise punk tunes they’d written but all switched instruments – that’s how much they love it. And, luckily, said records are always pretty good. Sauna Youth songs are genuinely urgent, and Deaths sees them more urgent than ever.
Deaths wears its intellectualism on its sleeve. The songs may be fast and shouty, but we’re a long way from Slaves here. No Personal Space features continual interruptions from feedback and noise recorded in the band’s fraught practice sessions – creating a self-referential, claustrophobic reminder of this record’s self-imposed difficulties.
Deaths’ agitated ruminations and sheer screech-factor makes for a rough but compelling listen – reflecting noisily on the anxieties that have come to embody this torrid era: cynical political manoeuvring, having no time and no money, being lost. It’s an astute study in hopelessness.