The Young and Restless
Seven local South by Southwest 'Picks 2 Click'
Wednesday, March 14, 10pm, Bar 96
Sometimes Hans Zimmerman wakes up in a cold sweat, gasping for air. In his recurring dream, he's struggling against some unknown force – suffocating.
"I can't really explain it," says the 27-year-old singer/guitarist, who believes the episodes are a form of sleep apnea. "It's been happening these last couple of years. I didn't realize what was going on until someone saw me one night. It turns out I was holding my breath the whole time."
That sensation of being trapped between states of consciousness is a central theme of the Young's highly anticipated debut for Matador Records, Dub Egg.
"I was thinking about places like that," adds Zimmerman, "the gaps in life, between good times and bad times, collapsed into one moment."
To capture that vibe, the band – Zimmerman, bassist Jason Costanszo, second guitarist Kyle Edwards, and drummer Ryan Maloney – encamped to a cabin in Vanderpool, out in western Bandera County. Zimmerman, having previously recorded local contemporaries including Cruddy, Women in Prison, and the Zoltars for 12XU compilation Casual Victim Pile II, rolled tape into the early mornings.
"It's off the grid, no cell phone service," he says. "We borrowed a van, loaded the tape machine and our gear, and lived with that record. It was just the four of us, hanging out and recording. There was a little creek so we were fishing, and throwing horseshoes. We would just wake up and turn on the amps."
The setting pierces the LP like barbed wire. Judging from first track "Livin' Free," Dub Egg's a fiercely rustic work with classic rock undertones and a dark, deserted mystique. In contrast to the Young's Super Secret singles and Voyagers of Legend, a 2010 full-length for Mexican Summer, Matador co-founder Gerard Cosloy called the new disc "The sort of expansive guitar master class (never at the expense of terrific songs, mind you) they've only hinted at previously."
"Matador gave us a pretty incredible opportunity," says Zimmerman. "Most people would probably have gone into a nicer studio, but for us it was an opportunity to withdraw even further into our own stuff. It was a dream come true to be out there."