Release Date: Oct 14, 2014
Record label: In the Red Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Garage Punk, Indie Rock
Mikal Cronin put on some killer live shows last year surrounding MCII, but while he was singing beautifully and strumming his 12-string, another longhair consistently threatened to steal the spotlight. Chad Ubovich, the touring guitarist responsible for the huge solo on "See It My Way", has undeniable chops. He's also the bassist for Fuzz, and it's the same deal—he does a lot more than just slouch in the background and play the minimum.
There’s a lot to love about the debut, self-titled album from Meatbodies – Chad Ubovich to his friends. It is the kind of unrestrained, unambiguous flat-out psych rock that so many albums of this genre fail to deliver on. There’s barely any subtlety here. From the moment that opener ‘The Archer’ explodes in to the dissonant riffing of ‘Disorder’, it’s clear what is going to be on offer here.
Meatbodies is the more-or-less solo project of LA musician Chad Ubovich. Time spent honing his craft in the background for a couple of similar one-man shows means there’s an audible swagger and strut to Meatbodies’ dirty garage. Having played in Ty Segall’s hard rock group Fuzz, and before that with Segall’s comparably raucous pal Mikal Cronin, this debut suggests Ubovich warrants similar levels of attention.
Meatbodies start their self-titled debut with a solid minute of feedback on “The Archer”. No catchy hooks. No ferocious guitar riff. No propulsive drums. Conventional wisdom might say that an artist should put a strong track in the leadoff spot, but Chad Ubovich, the main man behind Meatbodies ….
Chad Ubovich is hardly the first sideman to decide he wants the chance to step out on his own, and after playing guitar with Mikal Cronin and bass in Ty Segall's Fuzz project, Ubovich is delivering his own band of West Coast garage/psych/punk noise with his band Meatbodies. If you're familiar with what Cronin and Segall do, you're not far off from what Ubovich has up his sleeve on Meatbodies' self-titled debut album, culled from material that first appeared on a series of singles, though Ubovich is a stronger guitarist than most of the folks following this path, boasting hard rock chops that bring a greater degree of swagger and precision to this music. Meatbodies sounds tight and forceful, though there's just enough slop here to favor the buzzy, acid-textured tone of the melodies and give Ubovich a chance to let his solos wander free into the path of dissonance if he's in a mood.
Fronted by ex-Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin crony, Chad Ubovich, Meatbodies are sure to get some nods for that connection. But this debut album more than stands on its own, stands out even as a much more frenzied affair than recent efforts from Ubovich’s former cohorts. That synthy instro opening, The Archer, is a neat move, as Disorder then kicks in and there’s not much letting up on the downhill chase of the rest of this album.