Take a Little Trip with the Young

June 28th, 2012

The Young – Mercury Lounge – June 27, 2012

About halfway through the Young’s explosion of a set at Mercury Lounge last night, the Austin, Texas, band’s frontman, Hans Zimmerman, thanked the audience for coming out: “Only the mutants come out on Wednesday night.” I’m pretty sure calling the audience a bunch of mutants was a term of endearment considering the group played a dark, mutant rock and roll that transformed a Wednesday night into an otherworldly journey. After Zimmerman asked for “more reverb in the house,” they opened up in full-instrumental form, jamming a jagged Crazy Horse–type theme, with all four members facing one another, completely enshrouded in darkness.

Clearly this was going to be one of those “twist in some earplugs, we’re gonna rock the bejeezus out of this place!” sets. Like fellow Austin bands White Denim and Bright Light Social Hour, the Young were not tightly bound by composition, letting nearly every song expand in guitar solos and penetrating rhythms. Working mostly off their newest LP, Dub Egg, and standing before a disproportionately sized bass amp, they filled the room with music, oozing into the spaces among the audience and seeping right into the skin.

The show ended with a mighty two-step of major rock riffs: “Talking to Rose,” about “an implement we use to get high,” intoxicated on its own with a severe intensity, and the closing “Livin’ Free” was the loudest and best, an insatiable jam that swallowed everything in its path. The closer felt like 12 minutes when it was nearer to three. The whole set was over too quickly but it promised more to come from the Young—another great band for mutants and nonmutants alike. —A. Stein