Mainstays of the Los Angeles psych-rock scene Meatbodies are releasing their third record on September 3 via In The Red Records. Across seven tracks, 333 displays the band at their most gnarly and lo-fi, adding extra layers of fuzz and turning the volume up to 11.
“Me and [drummer] Dylan [Fujioka], we were actually demoing for another album that’s going to be coming out soon,” explains singer and guitarist Chad Ubovich. “One of those sessions we did at my house. We had a drum kit set up in my room with my tape machine and a lot of the songs that are on 333 are those songs. They were kind of put off to the side, and I didn’t listen back until the pandemic was going on. I found them and was like, oh shit, this is pretty cool; let’s make this something.”
While the new record is progressive in its sound design, it is still distinctly rooted in the sounds of late ’60s and early ’70s psychedelic rock. The opener “Reach For The Sunn” devolves into chaotic madness akin to something like The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.” “Let Go (333)” is an acoustic frenzy that is equal parts dreamy and a totally nightmarish acid trip.
“It’s funny; sometimes I’ll listen back to the bands that I was listening to before I wrote something, and I’ll just immediately hear everything that I ripped off,” Ubovich laughs. “Like the other day, I put on Hawkwind’s album PXR5, and the first song, whatever the first song is on there, has the same drum roll as the beginning of ‘Alice.’ Actually, on ‘Alice,’ a lot of inspiration was coming from the band The Move, and the first album, a lot of the inspiration for that was coming from a band called Mighty Baby. You know, just shit like that.”
For Ubovich, it’s a different world than when Meatbodies first started. Music has a different meaning in the ways we consume and produce it. A pandemic stifles our live performances. Vinyl pressing plants have delays of more than a year.
“I think nowadays, with the way the world is set up with the internet, music is just a completely different thing from when I was, like, 24, and I was touring around with Ty [Segall] and Mikal [Cronin],” Ubovich notes. “Back then, it was edgy to be like, we’re not putting our shit online; we have vinyls, and we live in an economy where we can’t get jobs, so we’re just going to go on the road with Black Flag as our godfathers.”
“If you’re a shit little kid, you know, it’s like, you get a van; you go out there and press your own shit, and that was kind of our ten commandments,” he says. “Now, it’s a whole different thing; it’s like, ‘Buy our blah blah and get this bundle.’ Now you barely have to be touring. You can get most of your press and all that online.”
Watch the video for “The Hero” here:
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Photo courtesy of Meatbodies and Sheridan Lee.