Chicago’s great post-punk outfit Walking Bicycles are getting ready for the release of ‘Chooch’ (pre-order, out 4/26 via Highwheel Records), their first new album since 2014’s cacophonous ‘To Him That Wills The Way’. By definition, a chooch is a slang term for an idiot, jackass and the like… on ‘Chooch’ (their fifth full-length), Walking Bicycles use a series of vignettes to highlight the various chooches of the world: the jackasses, the idiots, and every person in between who continues to abuse their power and act inappropriately.
So far, the band have shared the album’s lead single Fat Cat, a punishing track about the haves vs have nots of the world, has now been followed by ESP, a song that’s about getting into peoples’ heads and the dark side of conspiracy theories or false idolatry. Take a listen to ESP via Soundcloud below. Both are great first tastes of what one can expect from their new album.
Fronted by vocalist Jocelyn Summers, their new album was recorded at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio over the course of the past few years since ‘To Him That Wills The Way’ came out, which was a powerful album that recounted the 3-year prison incarceration of their guitarist Julius Moriarty for possessing a large quantity of weed, and the subsequent separation from Jocelyn (his partner). Whereas that album was more narrative-driven, ‘Chooch’ is a record that confronts familiar annoyances with the most freeing, middle finger-up act of defiance. Whether it’s calling out the conservative Fountainhead movement circling back in Dumbshit Never Learns or the eternal devastation of waiting for the man to stop controlling life on Fat Cat, ‘Chooch’ is a phenomenal album from Walking Bicycles that’s well worth the five year wait.
Guided by warped guitar tones, menacing drums, and thundering bass, the new sound Walking Bicycles present on ‘Chooch’ is louder than anything they’ve recorded before. Consider it a blend of manic attitude and the burst of freedom that comes from telling the worst people in the world that they can go to hell. Now more than ever, it’s clear that the recognition that Walking Bicycles get in the DIY community comes from 15 years of hard work, and a refusal to settle for anything less than what feels right.