Walt Disco take first SOTW with latest track
There’s plenty of artists who can write a good tune, but it takes something more to write an anthem. Walt Disco possess exactly that something – it jumped out at me the first time I saw them on a live stage at last year’s Neighbourhood festival, it’s remained plain to see through all of their outings since, and it now shines through in its purest form in their latest single, ‘Hey Boy (You’re One Of Us)’. If this song doesn’t deserve to be called anthemic, then nothing does. As a teaser for the Glaswegian rockers’ debut EP (Young Hard and Handsome, due September) it’s both promising and exhilarating, and sets the bar very high; as a single, it strikes a perfect balance between catchy, soulful, and empowering.
As with other things Walt Disco have done, and perhaps moreso even, there’s a lot of the 80s in this one: you might think (it’s hard not to) of Adam and the Ants when faced with the snapping, clapping bounce of the track’s chorus, and James Power’s vocals have all the strengths and soulfulness of early Smiths tunes. Scratch this 80s rock surface, however, and you will find much more, from a buzzing and rather danceable fragment of electronica which surfaces after the intro and never quite leaves, to a scratchy guitar riff that is almost punk in nature. And then there are the lyrics – bold, sincere, and in places a little cheeky – which will speak to anyone who has struggled with toxic masculinity, and spoke to me, as a nonbinary person, in a slightly different sense: but both are enlightening and empowering, and frankly refreshing to hear. We have needed a song like this, that tackles this topic not mournfully and fearfully, but with guts, and hope, and a sense of community.
On top of that, of course, it is catchy. That little electronic tune is a sneaky earworm that will replay itself endlessly in any listener’s head. It’s the kind of short and sweet track that works perfectly as an introduction, because it says a lot in a short space and it invites replays on loop. Make no mistake, though, this is a song that is really meant to be played live: get to that almost spoken-word chorus and you’ll almost hear the abandon of a live crowd shouting the lyrics. Hey Boy (You’re One Of Us) is a tight, high-energy package with something important to say and a joy and brazenness in saying it that are just delightful. It gives a very clear snapshot of what Walt Disco are planning on doing, and will surely leave many craving more.
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Chiara was born in Sicily and lives in Cardiff. She’s a novelist and freelance journalist with a lifelong love of music, from glam to punk by way of blues and country.