Preview: The Return Of Woolworthy!

In 2005, Woolworthy played their "farewell" show at Double Door, and Chicago said goodbye to one of the more promising bands to emerge from the '90s into early aughts scene. Woolworthy played the kind of timeless rock that walks the line between punk and pop without ever dipping into the territory you might now call pop-punk. Their sound was an energetic mix of classic riffs with old school tasteful yet fiery lead guitar lines winding their way through and coloring each song as the rhythm section holds things together with a thunderous backbeat and bass thrum.

Wait, that was all in the past tense, and I need to adjust that now, because Woolworthy is back! The core members, Rudy Gonzalez, Rick Uncapher, Dave Suh, and Mark Doyle got together last summer to record a new album in secret, and today is the day we all get to hear our first taste of what they put together. While the full album, Electric Heartbreak, is not out until November 17, the first single "Hand Grenade" is out today!

I've had a chance to listen to the full album Electric Heartbreak a few times and aside from slightly stronger production (a byproduct of recording in 2023 versus holing up in super cheap studios in the '90s) the chemistry is the exact same. It doesn't even sound like the band took a break: a few of the tunes on the new album date back to the band's original run but the majority of the material is brand new, and it still sounds lively, timely, and completely cohesive. And I was tickled to see that Woolworthy invited previous guitarists from the past—Steve Vazquez and Muchacha's Alex Acevedo—to contribute to the songs here and there, making the album feel like it encompasses the whole of the group's history. I'm still adjusting to bands reuniting and being as good or better than they were before, but I'm happy Woolworthy is adding to that burgeoning trend.

You can stream the first single and pre-order the album, below, . And if you want to wait to pick up a copy from the band in person, Woolworthy will be playing an album-release show at Montrose Saloon on November 22.

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Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Tankboy resides in the body of Jim Kopeny and lives in Mayfair with Pickle the Kitten and a beagle named Betty (RIP) who may actually be slightly more famous than most of the musicians slogging through the local scene. He's written about music for much longer than most bands you hear on the radio have even existed.