We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. In Playlisted, we share our latest recommendations.
Album: Dub Egg by The Young (out June 12 on Matador)
Press play if you like: Indie rock with heft; dump trucks full of guitars; things that call themselves “dub” but aren’t
Some background: After a few years of soaking in the singles-and-comps shallow end—as well as issuing a stellar, mostly overlooked debut album, 2010’s Voyagers Of Legend—Austin’s The Young has dropped a cannonball in the form of Dub Egg. The band’s sophomore full-length hemorrhages distortion. Jagged, loose-jointed, and walking with a bit of a wobble, the disc’s 10 songs are stitched together by the interplay between Hans Zimmerman’s chunky riffage and Kyle Edwards’ alternately chiming and chafing leads. Like a mastodon in a tar bath, “Plunging Rollers” treads mud while casting dreamy visions of T. Rex supremacy. “Numb” flaunts a similar ponderous majesty. But where “Voyagers” twitched with messy urgency, Dub Egg is confident and contained—and at times even sweet. “Poisoned Hell” is formidably titled, but it’s an amiable episode of shaggy psychedelia that calls on the spirit of Danny Whitten-era Crazy Horse. The even gentler track “Only Way Out” eases up on the fuzz pedal long enough to huff some melancholic folk-rock fumes. And on the closer, “Talking To Rose,” Zimmerman and company find an anthem buried at the bottom of their sludge pile.
Try this: Zimmerman’s vocals lean toward the wheezing and ethereal, but he brings them to bear most melodically on Dub Egg’s opener, “Livin’ Free.” Easily the album’s catchiest track, it strikes a rickety balance between The Young’s tender insides and its cracked, craggy crust.