Release Date: May 8, 2012
Record label: Matador
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Noise-Rock, Shoegaze
Restlessness in art is tricky; in some cases it impedes the creative process or muddles the final product, but under the right circumstances restlessness can be the catalyst for horizon expanding and new forms of expression. Take the Brooklyn band the Men, for example, who over their first four years mined metal experimentation, blistering post-hardcore, and muscular '80s-era underground rock, culminating in 2012's commanding Open Your Heart. There's a similar feeling with Austin, Texas quartet the Young, who started out in 2007 with pop-punk leanings and expanded to sprawling guitar rock on their 2010 full-length debut, Voyagers of Legend.
Austin four-piece the Young arrived in 2010 with their Mexican Summer debut, Voyagers of Legend, which was stuffed to the gills with psychedelics and stodgy riffage. At times, when the level of intensity reached a cracked breaking point, it felt like a worthy successor to Comets on Fire's Field Recordings From the Sun had finally arrived. Elsewhere, they were channeling the wind-tunnel howl of Hawkwind's "Silver Machine", the weather-beaten sweetness of Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque, and the killer lo-fi guitar melodies of Guided by Voices at their peak.
Austin, Texas’ the Young have been together since 2007, and have been shapeshifting since, trying to find their sound, figure out their place. They started as a punky rock band, but rather than settle in with the rest of the garage-rockers in Austin, they pushed forward, changing lineups and textures and sound so that the band that put a single out on Matador’s 2010 Austin-focused compilation, Casual Victim Pile, sounded little like the band that released its first full-length, Voyagers of Legend, on Mexican Summer a year later. That album, nerdy sci-fi title aside, was a major step forward into jittery, echoing, gauze-pop, a mix of classic rock and hazy home-recordings that saw them branching out into their own sound.
Google "the Young" and you'll get countless results unrelated to the Austin, TX band. So for their second full-length, they wittily conceived the unique title of Dub Egg, based on a dream their guitarist had about "the master tapes, an improvised King Tubby technique and a soft-boiled egg." Don't let the namesake fool you though ? Dub Egg is an album for guitar heads. Between Hans Zimmerman (who sings) and Kyle Edwards, there's hardly a second where their guitars aren't front and centre.
Hailing harmoniously from the prestigious musical roots of Austin, Texas, The Young duly impress the masses with their second LP on Matador Records. Recorded in a cabin in the wilderness of Texas, The Young’s Dub Egg album remains fresh and unhinged by the proverbial “hipster” tendencies of trying to be uber-unique and untainted in the vast and endless scene of “up and coming” new music in Austin. “Don’t hustle for Love”, the second track on Dub Egg arrives with a 4/4 over 5/4 rhythm throughout the verses, which holds tendencies of being too busy but The Young gain respect slowly throughout the album because of tracks like this one.
Dub Egg represents the Young's cosmic rebirth. Whereas 2010's Voyagers of Legend delivered dank post-punk with heavy hooks, the locals' Matador bow ventures further out to pasture – literally. The quartet cut the album at a rustic cabin in western Bandera County. In that capacity, early highlights "Livin' Free" and "Don't Hustle for Love" resemble Heartless Bastards' recent Arrow more than anything by the band's Casual Victim Pile contemporaries: their's a peyote vision quest with sprawling restlessness and indie guitar heroics.