Since the release of ‘Cut Your Hair’, I’ve been really looking forward to hearing Young Hard and Handsome, the debut EP from Glasgow sextet Walt Disco. Something about the bombastic, idiosyncratic sound paired with frontman James Power’s flamboyant vocal performances really resonated with me. Fortunately, this debut EP provides everything I wanted and more.
What I enjoyed most about the lead single was its unapologetic sound. Bold basslines paired with stomping drums strut across the dancefloor, producing an intro that grabs your hand along the way. The warping synthesisers add to the atmosphere, blending a sound that remembers the past but confidently walks to the future. It’s a sound that permeates throughout the entirety of Young Hard and Handsome, making it one of the best EPs of the year.
‘Hey Boy (You’re One of Us)’ kicks off the EP with a march band of an intro. Storming group vocals come together to welcome their new recruit to a world featuring laser-sharp synths, crunchy guitars and cultish drums. There’s a clear influence of 70s and 80s music here, but Walt Disco pack it full of personality to ensure that it firmly stands out as their own. I’m sure the likes of Adam Ant and David Bowie would appreciate it.
‘I’m What You Want’ features one of the boldest choruses around, further projecting the emphasis of self-expression and self-love that bleeds through the EP. Its instrumental is a rush of scrappy guitars and dazzling synths that makes it an absolute dream to be wrapped up in, once again capped off by James Power’s excellent vocals.
‘Heather’ closes the EP with an emotive performance, as it ponders the feeling of “What if?” against another chaotic instrumental. Cold synthesisers dance with slightly subdued guitars in the EP’s most spacious track, making most of the room to deliver a final hurrah in what has been an excellent listen. Walt Disco have really brought something special to the ears here. Young Hard and Handsome knows exactly what it is, performed by a band that know exactly who they are, and it holds no hesitation in bringing that right to your face. It’s powerful, catchy, wholesome and absolutely what we need to hear right now.