One of my many New Years Resolutions (along with short reviews) is to make sure I buy vinyl copies of albums I really like, although unfortunately one of the by-products of Covid is the huge delay in vinyl production. But when they catch up Bad Sauna will be at the top of the list, because new album ‘POTSLOJO’ is even more blisteringly good than I expected it to be, and it is definitely worthy of the full vinyl experience.
They’re a band I’ve written about since they arrived on the scene in 2019, and they release music on the excellent All That Plazz label - a great source of noisy Finnish underground music, given they also have Moshi Moshi, Gim Kordon and Mummypowder on their roster too, all bands definitely worth checking out.
Now I’ll make the normal Finnish language caveat here that I don’t unfortunately understand most of the lyrics, but these guys just make such a great noise that I’m convinced you’ll enjoy it anyway. But to help with the lyrical feel of the album, Felix from the band has been telling me more about the album:
”I would say the main themes on POTSLOJO is exploring different ways of coping with what is going on right now. Some of the lyrics are more positive and wishful but some are very hopeless. I guess that's what's going on in our daily lives anyways, some days are better than others. It’s a constant struggle to keep a positive outlook of things but it has really helped to get to make music with my best friends.”
I promise that’s exactly how it sounds, an album clearly written with the aim of just having huge fun, layers of guitar noise that create real intensity, but should leave you with a huge grin on your face. Highlights include Väsy, almost 6 minutes of noise which opens innocently enough, before the first searing guitar riffs hit you, but actually it’s probably Kaikki kerralla kiitos that really draws me in, utterly consumed by the searing and dirty guitar noise.
And yes they can make songs fun too, 'Kun nään koiran (mun sydän sulaa) nään koiran (mun sydän sulaa)' is catchy, clever and almost playful and then they just pull us in further with the laid back (at least to open) Vessanpönttö, before the guitars inevitably just take over. But my favourite is probably 'Kaikki kotona' where Indie Pop meets Grunge Noise Rock, with an irresistible noisy joyous instrumental section to end.
There’s nothing worse than a reviewer calling out ‘Album of the Year’ before the Christmas decorations have all been packed into the attic, but ‘POTSLOJO’ is just so good that I promise you now it’ll at least be on the short or long list. Noise rock taken to a completely different level and I love it from start to finish.