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Reviews

Sauna Youth
Deaths Hayley Scott , September 13th, 2018 07:22

The last in their trilogy – a haphazard, bristling triumph

The final part in a trilogy of LPs, Deaths is an appropriate ode to an ending. All three albums have an unbridled urgency, but Deaths is particularly, brazenly haphazard: it was written and recorded briskly, around full-time jobs, and the results are thrillingly erratic without ever feeling rushed. Indeed, with finite time comes an inability to dwell on any apparent mistakes. It’s these blemishes that make Sauna Youth an anomaly. Deaths is the antidote to the myriad guitar bands currently creating music with perfectly poised precision.

Deaths is the closest you’ll get to a record transporting you to a live environment – specifically, crowded sweaty basement shows. All 12 songs reimagine punk’s original essence, from the simple chord structures to the indignant dual vocals that smack you in the face. Deaths not without its subtle idiosyncrasies, though: introspective spoken-word interludes like ‘The Swerve’ and ‘The Patio’ echo the poetic surrealism of ‘Taking A Walk’ from 2015’s Distractions. Deaths is an album that very much belongs to now, though, in part due to an astute depiction of everyday life and weighty lyrical themes – the 12 tracks touch on political rhetoric, artistic legacy, action and passivity, work and leisure, and (of course) distraction.

The combination of pop and punk is a sound that’s difficult to tarnish, but Sauna Youth’s assimilation of contemporary culture – using lyrics that are both thought-provoking and playful – makes this another triumph from the band, full of courage and conviction.

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