Album Review

Walt Disco - The Warping

A testament to the glorious multifacetedness of existing beyond the binary.

Walt Disco - The Warping

As a phrase, ‘The Warping’ encodes notions of metamorphosis, fluidity, and distortion – an apt title, then, for Walt Disco’s second offering, which sees the Glaswegian quintet explore profound questions of gender identity and self-concept over 12 tracks they have termed “our most biographical body of work yet”. While their 2022 debut ‘Unlearning’ saw them arrive armed with an already compelling and highly distinctive sound, ‘The Warping’ pushes the envelope even further: orchestral flourishes of woodwind, brass and strings raise cuts like ‘Gnomes’ and ‘Weeping Willow’ to gilded heights of operatic grandeur; while elsewhere, groove-laden guitar lines and more industrial textures are given the floor (‘You Make Me Feel So Dumb’ and ‘Black Chocolate’ respectively). 

Addictive hits of glam rock and New Romantic synth-pop may be the band’s bread and butter, and they’ve certainly not abandoned their roots – ‘Come Undone’ is a sad banger that could easily go toe-to-toe with the best of Depeche Mode, and the triumphant ‘The Captain’ is how we imagine it might sound if Bowie had a jig with ‘90s Britpop types James – but it’s often the more sonically understated cuts that pack the heftiest lyrical punch. Take ‘Jocelyn’, named after vocalist Jocelyn Si, which is both deeply moving and life-affirmingly rousing; or the title track, on which feelings of gender dysphoria are most candidly expressed (“My jealousy / It’s surrounding me / Tearing me apart / It looks to steal the air I breathe / I love envy / And it’s corrupting face / Taunting me to dream / Of things I wasn’t born to chase”). Camp but never cliche, paying tribute to their forebears without straying too far into pastiche, ‘The Warping’ is Walt Disco’s testament to the glorious multifacetedness of existing beyond the binary. 

Tags: Walt Disco, Reviews, Album Reviews

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