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Meat Wave share new single '10k', taken from new album, Malign Hex


Today, Chicago's Meat Wave return with a second taster of their first album in over five years, Malign Hex, ahead of its October 14th release via Big Scary Monsters. This time out, it's the tumultuous '10k' getting an airing: a driving, searing 3.5 minutes of blistering punk rock that could very easily serve as the album's title track - a definitive document of the series of malign hexes struck through the record.

Of the track, Meat Wave's Chris Sutter (guitar, vocals) offers: "'10k' is about being alive for 10,000 days, which is around your 28th birthday. Feels like a long time - but is it? You feel like you know so much about life and navigating through it - but do you? Nah, not really. The title of the record directly relates to '10k'.

"A malign hex pertains to your lineage. It’s something that is pertinent to only you, it’s handed down to you, or was raised in you. In that way, and pertaining to the record as a whole, I’d like to think it’s a human, universal feeling."
Watch the lyric video for '10k' here:

The trio's - Sutter alongside Joe Gac (bass) and Ryan Wizniak (drums) - first full-length since 2017's universally acclaimed The Incessant, Malign Hex also features recent single ‘What Would You Like Me To Do’ as well as the previously released ‘Ridiculous Car’ and ‘Honest Living’. The album was recorded by Gac in 2019 at the band’s rehearsal space and respective apartments. Following The Incessant, Malign Hex is the band’s most cohesive, dynamic and ambitious work to date – “a culmination of what we’ve been doing for 11 years. We’ve been working towards this,” as Sutter deftly summarises. “Our sound in the beginning was consistently very driving,” recalls Gac. “Now, that characteristic is merely a tool we can reach for. I don’t think it completely defines what we’re doing.”

Watch the video for 'What Would You Like Me To Do' - directed by Chris Sutter - here:

The band spent the last half of 2019 chipping away at the record, choosing to work on it slowly in spurts, as opposed to The Incessant, which was recorded and mixed in just four days. If that feels like an odd move – to veer away from a formula that worked so successfully on The Incessant, which received near-unanimous critical acclaim on release and was dubbed “an album meant for breathless angst, fists in the air, spit in your hair” by The Guardian – it’s one that pays off dividends on Malign Hex: a set of songs that finds Meat Wave at both their most gentle and abrasive, creating urgent and vital punk music that’s unafraid to dial things back and experiment, ready and willing to take a breath amidst the mayhem. Suffice to say, it’s a record of contrasts and juxtapositions.

“We recorded [Malign Hex] the same way we always have— live in a room together,” says Wizniak. “But we allowed ourselves to embellish more and take more chances with extra instrumentation.” And while the band did indeed incorporate more synths, organs and walls of guitar, it provides only nuance and atmosphere, not distraction from what Meat Wave does best. “We moved further away from the principle that we need to recreate every element on the album live,” Gac adds. “There was no shame in adding extra overdubs and different sounds.”

The album’s lyrics centre around themes of lineage; where we come from, and where we’re going. Malign Hex explores a litany of subjects and circumstances – addiction, greed, unreliable memory, obedience – through a surrealist, collage-like lens, loosely following a birth-to-death arc across its 10 tracks.

“A malign hex is something that is pertinent only to you, that is handed down to you, or was raised in you through time: depression, addiction, greed, envy. Everyone wears a backpack full of hexes. It’s heavy and familial. And it’s yours,” Sutter offers. “The meaning of malign is evil or malignant in nature. So, the idea was picking apart what my hexes are. Ironically, being in this band and making this band my life for so long has proved to be one of the hexes, but it’s also tied to more systemic hexes. It’s the evil algorithm that is you.”

Meat Wave will be hitting the road in October and November, performing headline shows as well as supporting METZ, The Bronx and Drug Church across the US. Please find a full touring itinerary further below.

Meat Wave - Malign Hex // Big Scary Monsters - 14/10/22

1. Disney
2. Honest Living
3. Ridiculous Car
4. What Would You Like Me To Do
5. Complaint
6. Merchandise Mart
7. Waveless
8. 10k
9. Jim's Teeth
10. Malign

Tour dates:

Oct 24th | Bloomington, IN - The Bishop #
Oct 26th | Birmingham, AL - Saturn ^
Oct 27th | Atlanta, GA - The Earl^
Oct 28th | Gainesville, FL - The Fest
Oct 30th | Tulsa, OK - The Whittier Bar #
Oct 31st | Austin, TX - Mohawk *
Nov 1st | Dallas, TX - Trees *
Nov 3rd | Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad *
Nov 4th | Phoenix, AZ - Rebel Lounge *
Nov 10th | Omaha, NE - O'Leavers #
Nov 11th | Milwaukee, WI - Cactus Club #
Nov 12th | Chicago, IL - The Empty Bottle #

^ = supporting METZ
* = supporting The Bronx, Drug Church
# = headline show


Pre-order Malign Hex digitally or on vinyl, including limited Toxic Yellow and Eco-Mix versions, here:

Photo credit: Patrick Houdek


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