Meatbodies, Zip-Tie Handcuffs, Teen Mortgage

All Ages
Wednesday, September 08, 2021
Door: | 7pm // Show: | 8pm
$13

Meatbodies

Zip-Tie Handcuffs

Teen Mortgage

Within the fertile West Coast rock scene of the 2010s, Meatbodies’ Chad Ubovich was a

perennial candidate for MVP. Over the course of the decade, the Los Angeles 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. That recently dormant noise-damaged freak-rock outfit now returns with 333, a

corrosive stew of guitar scuzz, raw acoustic rave-ups, and primitive electronics. That acidic mix

didn’t come from nowhere. 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.

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. “It sounded gross,

like a scary Magical Mystery Tour,” he recalls proudly. After subjecting them to some

mixing-board freakery, Ubovich fast-tracked the songs into becoming Meatbodies’ third release,

333.

But while the new record diverts sharply from the evolution established by the punk rippers of

Meatbodies’ 2014’s self-titled debut and the fuzz-metal fantasias of Alice, it’s born of the same

econo spirit that birthed the band in the first place. Ubovich founded Meatbodies in 2011, when

a new generation of outfits rose from the ashes of the previous decade’s geopolitical tumult. The

period set a whole generation adrift—there were no jobs, no money, no opportunities. The

stability of previous eras was out of reach. But for artists like Ubovich, there were still ways to

move forward. “We had vans and guitars,” he says. “So we made our own thing.”

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. That psychic

tug-of-war plays out on the opening “Reach for the Sunn” whose distorted slow-motion creep

leads to a chorus both celebratory and dispiriting: “Reach for the stars/reach for the sun/reach

for the trigger/reach for the gun.” In writing these songs, Ubovich realized that he wasn’t so

much singing about his own path, but something much greater than himself. “These lyrics are

dark, but I think these are things that a lot of people are feeling and going through, especially

Americans,” he says. “We’re watching the fall of U.S. capitalism, and 333 is a cartoonish

representation of that decline.”