HMLTD are a London band and this is their debut album, West of Eden. They’ve endured a rather bumpy start to their music career so far, but now they’ve cemented complete independence, they’re ready to flood our ears with glorious, glorious music. With a number of genres blended together, this record celebrates that decision and comes off sounding like the wildest rodeo in town. Grab your boots and your acid, we’re going on a hoedown! Yee-haw!
“The West is Dead” kicks off the record with a solid introduction into HMLTD’s sound: ominous basslines, off-kilter guitars and vocals that seem to hide a dirty secret. A driving beat kicks up dust as it speeds down the desert highway, led by vocals that creep their way through the layers. It produces a tension that remains a constant on the record, and sets us up as listeners for a record that takes us on so many journeys. From the dirty riffs of “LOADED” to the synth-heavy, larger than life sound of “Mikey’s Song”, West of Eden details the experiences of a band who have a ton of depth to their history.
The chaotic nature of “To The Door” sounds like the theme to a new Tarantino flick, with its rolling drums and disturbed vocals creating a chaotic nature that’s hard to shake. It becomes an early highlight of the record. It also sets up nicely for the equally absurd “Satan, Luella & I” which pairs angelic harmonies with devilish instrumentation, unleashing a drop that knocks you out and leaves you to emerge on the dancefloor. What a tune.
West of Eden is a fantastic album from HMLTD. It’s like the band have ransacked the industry for whatever genres they can find, producing one of the most thrilling records of the year. It offers a twisted descend into insanity (“Where’s Joanna?”), which only serves to add further excitement to an already exciting listen.