Last December, I was hanging out at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto waiting for Hollerado’s retirement party to begin. I was chatting with a guy I had met a few times, Vince, who was instrumental in helping the band get their start (along with a couple other Toronto punk bands that I love but won’t mention by name here. Hint, there are a lot of “P”s in their names). He mentioned that he had started managing a great new band called Bike Thiefs and asked me to check them out.
Since then, I had listened to the couple EPs they had on Spotify and really enjoyed the music. Then, a couple months ago in the midst of the pandemic, the band announced releasing their new record, Leaking, via Stomp Records.
Hailing from Toronto, Bike Thiefs is a three-piece made up of Marko Woloshyn on guitar and vocals, Kris Pandierada on bass and Andrew Faskin on drums. The band has a unique sound that sets them apart from others in the scene. Think Leonard Cohen and David Bryne getting together to write beat-poetry and add in guitars, driving bass and drum beats and a dash of Syncronicity-era Police.
“My therapist once told me: When people cry, get angry or generally upset, it’s called emotional leaking,” says Woloshyn. “That always resonated with me. This record is a deeper dive into semi-fictitious stories of anxiety, hope, depression, and self-love.”
The first single from the album, “You’re Allowed Your Feelings,” is a banger of a punk song that shines a spotlight on the monotony of trying to keep up in the middle class. Woloshyn’s singing style makes the lyrics easily heard. The second single, “Connie’s Got a New Phone,” tells the story of a woman in her early 40s that is stuck in a failing relationship and the task of maintaining appearances while everything around her crumbles, until it ultimately fails.
One of my favorite songs on the album, “Hallelujah Again,” with its allusions to Leonard Cohen, starts slow and melodic and gradually builds in tempo and intensity in such a way that the listener is not even really aware of the change.
Listening to Leaking, it feels like a true album; it’s not a just a collection of singles thrown together for the sake of releasing something. The songs are all well-written, the music and the vocals are well-balanced. One is not overpowered by the other. The listener gets the sense that the three members really know how to play as a cohesive group. I’m looking forward to live music returning so that I will be able to see them perform.
Leaking drops on October 30, via Stomp Records on all major streaming platforms and will be available in limited edition peach or light blue vinyl.