“I had the idea for ‘Chrome Cactus’ almost immediately after completing ‘Dub Egg’. It was just a title for a long time, but it hung around for a while. 3 quarters of the way through 2012 we started playing with a new bass player, we tried out a new tuning, we jammed tons of new songs; rolled tape in our home studio on material that we also tried out in a live setting during a month-long residency in early 2013. I demoed songs on my own, shared them with the group – cut stuff, questioned everything and left plenty behind. All along the thematic foundation hovered around the idea of becoming something or someone else; like snapping to reality to realize you’re not only in the midst of total shit and chaos but you’re in some strangers skin; looking through their eyes and maybe you catch a distorted, barbed reflection of yourself and remember someone you thought you were. ” – Hans Zimmerman
(l-r : Ryan Maloney, Kyle Edwards, Lucas Wedow, Hans Zimmerman. photo by Autumn Sparado)
On August 26, we’ll be releasing the 3rd album from Austin TX quartet THE YOUNG, ‘Chrome Cactus’. Simply put, their followup to 2012’s ‘Dub Egg’ is nothing short of a monster of a guitar album, but one that’s always in service to the band’s vastly improved songcraft. Here’s the first song from side one, “Metal Flake” :
1. Metal Flake
2. Cry of Tin
3. Chrome Jamb
4. Moondog First Quarter
5. Apaches Throat
7. Ramona Cruz
8. Dressed in Black
9. Slow Death
10. Blow The Scum Away
When we last heard from Austin, Texas’ The Young, the quartet was livin’ free and their album ‘Dub Egg’ was the sunshine-fuzz hit of the year in more enlightened households worldwide. Flash forward two years and it seems the bill is due, in a big way as ‘Chrome Cactus’ is a far darker version of The Young. The breezy optimism of their earlier albums has been switched out for sinister, creeping dread in both lyrics and music, and the instrumentation is far sharper as well. The rhythm section of drummer Ryan Maloney and new bassist Lucas Wedow lay down a heavy (though nimble where they need to be) foundation for the already formidable guitar interplay of Hans Zimmerman and Kyle Edwards. Finding two guitarists with a penchant for such skillful, intuitive interplay is tough enough, but ‘Chrome Cactus’ is the moment where Zimmerman’s vocal delivery & way around a tune has caught up with The Young’s instrumental prowess.
Expertly produced by fellow sonic assassin Tim Green (Nation of Ulysses, The Fucking Champs, Thee Evolution Revolution etc.) at the new Louder studios located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Grass Valley CA, ‘Chrome Cactus’ aurally denies the idyllic setting that it was recorded in. From the undeniable riff of album opener “Metal Flake” to the squalls of feedback in “Blow The Scum Away” that end the record, you’ll be hard pressed to find an album that both reinforces and revitalizes everything that is great about American Rock Music in 2014. Taking influence from a myriad of artists such as (early) ZZ Top, Dead Moon, Link Wray, Lungfish and pedal-stompers worldwide,’Chrome Cactus’is a huge ball of power and controlled feedback disguised as ten of the catchiest songs you’ll hear this or any other year.
(If you’re still getting a handle on where these guys are coming from on the musical map, they’ve helpfully assembled a mixtape via Soundcloud)
In the days ahead, we’ll be announcing Autumn U.S. dates for The Young, though they’ll be playing Brooklyn’s Union Pool on June 27 ; there’s more details to follow about the bill and ticketing.