Truth Cult recently announced their upcoming full-length, Walk The Wheel, and today they’re back with another new single, “Clearskin.” Due out March 3rd via Pop Wig, Walk The Wheel finds the Baltimore-based five-piece blending passionate Dishchord-esque punk, hardcore bite, and rock & roll swagger into a sound that’s all their own.
“Clearskin” follows lead single “bWater” (which garnered attention from the likes of Stereogum, BrooklynVegan, and more) and leans into the more aggressive side of Walk The Wheel. Clocking in at just a minute and 41 seconds, the track burns through galloping verses and a twisting chorus riff before culminating in a blast of guitar theatrics that somehow manages to recall the MC5 and Embrace in equal measure.
Recorded live by producer/engineer J. Robbins at the Magpie Cage, Walk The Wheel strikes an impressive balance between ferocity and tunefulness. The album manages to capture the spark of Truth Cult’s live performances while also allowing them to expand their sonic palette into exciting new dimensions. Drawing on everything from Lungfish, to the MC5, to The Replacements, Walk The Wheel pivots from hardcore ragers to soaring alt rock and beyond. The band’s agile sound matches the multitudes contained in their lyrics, with Ferrara and Roberts exploring loss, drugs, anger, and existential complications as deftly as the music shifting around their words.
Walk The Wheel is due out March 3rd via Pop Wig.
2/17 – Jersey City, NJ @ White Eagle Hall w/ Screaming Females
2/24 – Boston, MA @ Middle East Downstairs w/ Gorilla Biscuits
2/25 – Baltimore, MD Record Release @ Ottobar
2/26- Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar w/ Wildside
3/31 – Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry w/ Gorilla Biscuits
Since their formation in 2018, Truth Cult have been gaining a reputation for their ability to blend passionate Dischord-esque punk, biting hardcore, and full-on rock & roll swagger. Now the Baltimore-based five-piece have further expanded their eclectic songwriting palette with their sophomore full-length, Walk The Wheel–a multi-faceted album that effortlessly oozes personality while exploring new melodic depths.
Truth Cult–vocalist Paris Roberts, bassist/vocalist Emily Ferrara, guitarist Ian Marshall, and drummer Robin Zeijlon (additional guitarist Michael French joined after the recording of Walk The Wheel)–released their debut self-titled EP in 2018 (Advanced Perspective) and first full-length Off Fire in 2020 (Pop Wig), and the band demanded attention with their energizing live show and the impressive dual singing of Roberts and Ferrara. Walk The Wheel, their second collaboration with Pop Wig, leans further into that vocal interplay.
“[Walk the Wheel] is intentionally all over the board to show off different perspectives,” states Ferrara. “Every song stands on its own, with its own feeling.” This approach makes for a fearless and compelling record that’s powered by an undeniable sonic momentum. The more hardcore tracks like “Squeeze” and “Clearskin” are answered by the radio-ready hooks in “Resurrection” and “Naked in the End,” or even the hypnotic anti-pop of “Medicine.” It’s all tied together by the voices of Roberts and Ferrara: the former channeling Westerberg-esque bravado, the latter full of agile warmth and pathos. “I think stylistically my vocal delivery has changed greatly,” explains Ferrara. “It’s a style I’m able to emulate live as well, which gives the recordings the same consistency as seeing us live. Took a lot of pushing and tweaking, but I’m excited to have gotten this far!” The result is an emotionally sweeping work, which finds cohesion in dialogue with itself.
Recorded live at the Magpie Cage with producer/engineer J. Robbins, Walk the Wheel captures Truth Cult’s vitality. “We had a lot of fun,” Roberts says, “Magpie has a nice dusty Hammond organ so we used that with a Leslie on a few songs. ‘Resurrection’ has piano and organ doubling the same line. We got a little silly with the Ebow in ‘Kokaine Kommando.’ Our friend Luke did some noisy sax on ‘Ain’t Rubbin’ No Shoulders.’ And ‘Medicine’ has a kind of faint background of space noises made with a weird guitar pedal.” Like a Truth Cult show, these rambunctious moments happen organically in real time (“Heavy Water,” “Ain’t Rubbin’ No Shoulders”), and while Marshall’s guitar style belongs to a regional tradition, he owes just as much to The Jam and MC5 as he does to Lungfish (as on the climactic explosion of unhinged guitar at the end of “Clearskin”).
Lyrically, Walk the Wheel feels timeless, and is influenced by topics like loss, recreational drug use, and the Garden of Eden. “A lot of it is me expressing different multitudes of grief,” says Ferrara. “Some of the tracks go to acceptance, others go to distracting said feelings–to vices I have. It’s not a concept album by any means, however when we were writing this record I had been going through a lot with loss from a good friend and dealing with the shrapnel and strays from that period since, so a lot was taken into writing accidentally.” This is an album that grapples with the challenges of life while also celebrating all that it has to offer. Truth Cult remain composed in the face of risk and new experiences, and with Walk The Wheel, they sound ready to embrace the unknown and take a giant leap forward.