No coast. No problem. The teenage quintet of SAUNA are not letting their landlocked lifestyle in Denver, Colorado stifle their predilection for wet reverb or Link Wray-like distortion, nor the graceless charm of twee. The Teen Angst Tape drips with jangly wonder and summer break blues.
Self-dubbed “no coast surf punx,” SAUNA is privy to the regional constraints that make its beach scene fascinations worth pondering. SAUNA playfully refute the regional issue by writing songs like “Beachball” and “Croctopus” that bring to mind beach parties and the toxic monsters that ruin the sun-soaked fun.
The Teen Angst Tape playfully reeks of the frustrating mess of pubescent longing and the hyperbolic dramatizations of young hearts in love written with the cheeky awareness of The Buzzcocks. Singer Molly Bartlett and bassist Ethan Hill pine for absentee lovers on “Please Don’t Go Away” and “Girl Like You”, while the deceptively glam-titled “Glitter Party” is less about feather boas and eye-liner and more about bathroom rendezvous and boom-boom. SAUNA get enough comments about being teenagers, to see the humor in being young and unstable.
To their credit, these are teens with refined taste. With only a year of expertise in their wake, SAUNA is beyond the fledgling state, having already opened for Tennis, Thee Oh Sees andThe B-52s. Each band’s impression can be heard in The Teen Angst Tape, whether it’s a Dwyer-esque count off at the beginning of “Glitter Party”, which is a B-52s homage through and through, or following the pristine indie footsteps left in the same sands fellow Denver dwellers Tennis walked. SAUNA isn’t bashful in boasting its influences by sneaking a The Who “Boris The Spider” cover into the set or lending their expertise of Richard Hell & The Voidoids covers to a CBGB’s homage night at the Hi-Dive. SAUNA is not letting the Xs on their hands keep them off a stage.