From opening track "Weightless", Unlearning lives up to its titular promise, throwing out the rulebook in flexing between the vaulting range of Sparks, early noughties dance, and the art rock of Franz Ferdinand. Theirs is an anomaly in the current landscape, the bombastic blurring of punk, techno and new wave recently touted by HMLTD, waltzing through an offbeat, mirrored wonderland with flashes of singularity. It's such operatic scale that carries Walt Disco 's gyrating niche, a blend that has lent inevitable comparison with the Associates' lead prodigy Billy Mackenzie, tracks such as "Those Kept Close" recalling the late vocalist's famed falsetto set to early Human League-leaning electronics.
Assured and individual, this debut takes theatrical transgression beyond the dressing-up box and into the music Pop music has always been partly a visual medium. But whereas in the past fans of Soft Cell, one of Walt Disco's shiny spiritual progenitors, would have had to rely on record sleeves, glossy magazine shots and the odd Top Of The Pops appearance to excite the eye, nowadays there are fans who consume all their music through YouTube and Vimeo, and to those people Walt Disco are, frankly, a gift. Pick a video at random, and the sextet are liable to be dolled up in some warpaint-smothered abstract glam, looking as though The Mighty Boosh's Vince Noir had started managing a volleyball team.
'Unlearning' is an album that instantly hits you in the face. True to the album's title, Walt Disco seem to have unlearnt every genre-defining rule to create a brilliant mess of sounds. Every track will have you questioning the sound - is it punk? Is it pop? Is it techno? Just when you feel content with the album flow, something will throw you completely off course again.