Over the course of the past decade, Los Angeles-born and-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Chad Ubovich has developed and honed a reputation as a key mainstay of one of the country’s most fertile and important music scenes: Ubovich had a lengthy stint playing guitar in Mikal Cronin‘s backing band and he’s currently contributing bass with Ty Segall and with Charlie Moothart and as a member of Fuzz. Additionally, the founding member and frontman of his own band, the experimental noise rock/freak rock outfit Meatbodies.
Meatbodies’ latest effort 333 was officially released today through In The Red Records. The album, which features corrosive bangers, raw acoustic rave-ups and primitive electronics, charts Ubovich’s personal journey from drug-induced darkness to clear-eyed sobriety — while simultaneously reflecting on how the world he re-entered was still pretty messed up — if not more so. “I’d been touring for eight years straight with all these bands, and just couldn’t do it anymore,” Ubovich recalls. “There was also a feeling in the air that everything was changing, politically. Things just didn’t feel right, and I went down a dark path.” Ubovich adds, “These lyrics are dark, but I think these are things that a lot of people are feeling and going through. Here in America, we’re watching the fall of U.S. capitalism, and 333 is a cartoonish representation of that decline.”
Fortunately Ubovich was able to pull himself back from the brink and upon getting sober, began writing and recording material at a furious and impassioned pace. By late 2019, the band — Ubovich and Dylan Fujoka (drums) — had a new album in the can, ready to be mixed. Much like countless other artists, the pandemic forced the band to put their record on hold.
With some newfound downtime, Ubovich discovered a cache of demos that he and Fujoka recorded in a bedroom during the summer of 2018. As it turns out, Ubovcih really liked what he heard. Unlike their established full-band attack, the demos were deliriously disordered. Ironically, because 333‘s material found the band working within a much tighter lo-fi aesthetic, the restriction allowed them to open space for more free-ranging experimentation. While speaking of the disillusionment of a lost generation, the album’s material is sparked by the innovation that limited resources and moxie can inspire.
333‘s latest single “Cancer” is an expansive mosh pit ripper centered around scorching power chords driven riffage, thunderous drumming and mantra-like lyrics. While on one hand, the song superficially seems nihilistic, the song is fueled by a celebration — albeit of very small things.
The Josh Erkman-directed video for “Cancer” is a fittingly trippy visual split between the members of the band in the studio, shot in a hallucinogenic haze and two costumed men riffing out in front of a camp fire in the middle of nowhere.
Meatbodies are currently on tour to support the new album, and the tour includes a September 7, 2021 stop at Knitting Factory. More dates to come.
09/03: The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA
09/04: Soda Bar – San Diego, CA
09/07: Knitting Factory – Brooklyn, NY
09/08: Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
09/09: Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH
09/10: The Brass Rail – Fort Wayne, IN
09/11: EXPANSION – Lexington, KY
09/17-18: Lose Yr Mind – Portland, OR
09/19: The Crocodile – Seattle, WA
09/20: Karate Church – Bellingham, WA
09/22-23: Treefort Music Festival – Boise, ID
09/25: The Ivy Room – Oakland, CA