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Swami Records is excited to glom onto Chicago punks Meat Wave for the release of their fourth album Malign Hex. Ryan Wizniak (drums), Joe Gac (bass) and Chris Sutter (vocals, guitar) strip back the “Windy City Sound” and expose a more jagged and turbulent frame. The ten-track album, which features singles “What Would You Like Me To Do” as well as “Ridiculous Car” and “Honest Living,” was recorded by Gac in 2019 and serves as the band’s most cohesive, dynamic and ambitious work to date. “Our sound in the beginning was consistently very driving,” says Gac. “Now, that characteristic is merely a tool we can reach for. I don’t think it completely defines what we’re doing.” Meat Wave spent the last half of 2019 chipping away at Malign Hex. “We recorded it the same way we always have—live in a room together,” says drummer Ryan Wizniak. “But we allowed ourselves to embellish more and take more chances with extra instrumentation.” While Malign Hex does incorporate synths, organs and walls of guitar, it provides only nuance and atmosphere and does not displace Meat Wave from their meat locker.
The album’s lyrics center around themes of lineage and explores a litany of subjects and circumstances: addiction, greed, unreliable memory, obedience. All through a surrealist, collage-like lens. “Everyone wears a backpack full of hexes,” Chris Sutter explains. “It’s heavy and familial. And it’s yours.”