The Young

Dub Egg

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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. Now, with sophomore album Dub Egg, they embark on a wandering, fuzz-cloaked journey that has fingerprints of the best qualities of their Austin music brethren -- the fiery energy of Trail of Dead, the druggy exploration of Charalambides -- as well as of classic rock and college rock favorites, and is presented in a way that feels familiar but has been thoughtfully crafted to obscure those fingerprints into something new. Named in reference to guitarist Kyle Edwards' strange dream about master tapes, King Tubby's production techniques, and a soft-boiled egg, the record was captured during a week in the remote south central Texas environs of Creekside Cabin, and as its ten tracks unfold, the dusty roads, rolling tumbleweeds, afternoons playing horseshoes, and nights spent drinking are almost palpable. "Livin' Free" finds a groove in the meeting point of Woven Bones-esque guitar dankness and earthy Crazy Horse roar, while the dirgelike "Plunging Rollers" shows the Young's spin on Black Angels-style neo-psychedelia, and the gentle co-ed harmonies and dreamy reverb of "Numb" give impressions of Galaxie 500. Listening to Dub Egg is like taking a different path through a favorite park; the surroundings are generally familiar, and without your old footprints as a guide you're not quite sure where the road will take you, but there's a sense of comfort and of adventure in that.

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