A Trippy and Weirdly Satisfying Album
When one listens to Meatbodies, it is as if the listener has left this world and entered into the psychedelic glam pop of the ‘70s or the stoner rock of the ‘80s. This Monrovia, California-based band have crafted a sound that harkens back to times when music grooved hard and distorted guitars and drums complemented any drug trip one may have been experiencing. On their latest release, ALICE, they continue with this brand of ‘70s-influenced, noisy, garage rock — save the copious amounts of drug use and platform shoes — to immerse the listener into a strange, dystopian and violent world.
One undeniable element of this record is the obvious nod to David Bowie. Lead singer Chad Ubovich’s voice is the perfect mixture between Bowie (circa Ziggy Stardust) and the unrefined quality of Jay Reatard. From the beginning of the album, the clashing drums and guitar complement Ubovich’s vocals and continue to do so until the very last note is played.
The album begins with the scratchy guitar-drenched track “The Burning Fields.” It is an entirely instrumental opener that slowly transitions from garage rock to unfiltered electronica. The next song, “Kings,” sounds exactly as one would imagine. It is expansive with echoing vocals and rasping guitar. The title track “Alice” takes a turn to the trippy. Whether it is due to the outer space-sounding instrumentation or the unusual pauses in singing, the listener is sure to feel some level of unease paired with odd satisfaction. “Creature Feature” is wrapped up with ‘70s style instrumentals and tied neatly with the most heavily Bowie influenced vocals on the whole album. Other songs like “Touchless” and “Haunted History” bring up images of sexuality and war; and despite the darkness of their lyrics, one cannot help but jolt his or her head in enjoyment.
Tackling a concept album is never an easy task, but when a band has the support of a musician like Ty Segall and is influenced by David Bowie, who is a revered fixture within the concept album community, one can rest easy and enjoy the trippy ride Meatbodies have curated. ALICE is a wonderfully bizarre music experience and undoubtedly one that the listener will wish never ends.