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ARTIST
TITLE
Distractions
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
UTR 071CD UTR 071CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
9/4/2015

Consisting of Richard "Boon" Phoenix (drums, vocals), Lindsay Corstorphine (guitar), Jen "Ecke" Calleja (vocals, sampler), and Christopher Murphy (bass), Sauna Youth are a punk band that's happy to embrace all of the contradictions that go along with that notion. They are at times furious, unstoppable, and severe, with the sampler wailing like an alarm coming from a parallel universe; then chugging, poppy, harmonious, and fun. Forever loud. As Kurt Cobain once asked, "Why can't we be both Black Sabbath and The Beatles?" Sauna Youth consistently pose the question, "Why can't we be both the Ramones and Steve Reich?" They recorded Distractions over a couple of days in July 2014 at Sound Savers in Homerton with Mark Jasper, mixed it themselves, and had it mastered by Kris Lapke. It's an album that feels instinctive and natural, flowing freely from a band that has come to terms with the sum of its parts. Ultimately, though, Sauna Youth have made a colossal record that is impossible not to dance to. "Transmitters" races off with its guitars pulsing and chopping before the chorus crashes in like a wave. Ecke and Boon sing in unison, creating a voice of no specific gender and allowing the songs to be sung from multiple perspectives and from a place of shared experience. On "Cosmos Seeker," the drums pin the jabbing guitar chords and vocals in place, surrounded by a propulsive swarm of sound. Distractions also includes two poems put to music: "(Taking a) Walk," by Ecke, is a rumination on the body, specifically female, in public spaces; "Paul," by Boon, explores individuality and authentic performance. In addition to performing as Sauna Youth, all four members, in swapped roles, also make up the band Monotony, which they formed while writing Distractions in 2014. Later in 2014, they did two sessions over two days as both bands for Marc Riley on BBC 6 Music, and performed as both bands at DRILL Festival: Brighton, after being invited by Wire. Members of Sauna Youth also play in Tense Men, Primitive Parts, Feature, and Cold Pumas. They've previously played with Pissed Jeans, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, and Protomartyr; toured with Ceremony and Cold Pumas; and played at both the Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia and Oslo Psych Fest.