Meatbodies release their new sundazed serenade, “The Hero.” The new single is off 333 (In The Red), scheduled for release on September 3, 2021. While 333 charts Ubovich’s journey from drug-induced darkness to clear-eyed sobriety, it also reflects how the world he re-entered was still pretty messed up—if not more so. On “The Hero” Ubovich is able to laugh at it all. “The Hero” comes accompanied by a video directed by Casey Hanson who tells, “The video and song are an exercise in sarcasm. Further, it’s maybe a jaded/cynical expression in regards to the good-evil duality narrative fed to us by people – idealizing machines of war, fetishizing trauma. It’s also just pretty colors and wrestling heel antics.”
Over the course of the decade, Meatbodies’ Chad Ubovich has been a perennial candidate for MVP of West Coast’s fertile rock scene. The LA native could be seen peeling off guitar solos in Mikal Cronin’s backing band, supplying the Sabbath-sized low end for Ty Segall and Charlie Moothart as the bassist for Fuzz, and, of course, fronting his own Meatbodies. The experimental noise/freak-rock outfit returns this fall with 333 — A corrosive stew of guitar scuzz, raw acoustic rave-ups, and primitive electronics that charts Ubovich’s journey from drug-induced darkness to clear-eyed sobriety.
Because the downside to maintaining such a prolific work rate is that the threat of burnout becomes a looming occupational hazard, and after touring behind Meatbodies’ second album, 2017’s Alice, Ubovich finally hit his breaking point.
“I’d been touring for eight years straight with all these bands, and just couldn’t do it anymore,” he says. “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.”
Fortunately, Ubovich was able to pull himself back from the brink and, upon getting sober, began writing and recording at a furious pace. By mid to late 2019, Meatbodies—Ubovich and drummer Dylan Fujioka—had a new album in the can, ready to be mixed. But when COVID hit, the band, like so many other artists, put their release on hold as they rode out the pandemic’s first wave. During that idle time, Ubovich discovered a cache of demos that he and Fujioka had recorded in a bedroom back in the summer of 2018, and he really liked what he heard. In contrast to Meatbodies’ typical full-band attack, it was deliriously disordered.
Ironically, by working within a tighter lo-fi schematic on 333, Meatbodies greatly expanded their palette, opening new portals for free-ranging experimentation. As much as 333 speaks to the disillusionment of a lost generation, it also abounds with the innovation that limited resources can inspire. And for an album that wasn’t supposed to exist, 333 is the ultimate testament to Meatbodies’ renewed vitality.