FRIDAY FINDS: HMLTD
(image: Wes Foster)
With a range of influences from Nick Cave to Talking Heads and their array of hectic live shows, HMLTD (formerly known as Happy Meal LTD) are easily London's most exciting band right now, if not one of the most exciting bands on the planet. They make frantic, glamorous heavy rock that is spiked with industrial punchy beats and distortion that will blow your head off (in the best way). Intertwining conventions of post-punk with heavy electronica, HMLTD showcase a peculiar yet enthralling sound, alongside a disturbingly hectic image.
There really is no other band in the game at the moment as experimental and obscure as HMLTD, with the exception of Death Grips and The Garden, but that being said there's nobody that comes remotely close to them from the UK - although Fat White Family are rapidly heading in the same direction. If that isn't enough to get you on their side, The Guardian tipped the band as one of their favourite live experiences of 2016, likening them to a reincarnation of 1972 David Bowie.
Stained (see above) even samples Runway H by Death Grips, it's great to finally see a guitar band embracing sampling! The track is a three minute romp of angular guitars and a goth-tinged EDM breakdown that ends with a ghostly outro. Shock tactics are nothing new in music, but its rare to see a band back up the vaunt with brains. There's a depth to the six-piece's art that sets them apart from those who expedite controversy for it's own sake. The group are an immaculate mixture of the punk 'give no fuck' viewpoint in contrast with a Bowie-esque glam sensibility; there's glitter, there's make up and theres androgynous outfits.
First single Is This What You Wanted? set the tone for what the band have in their holster, winning them a host of influential fans, such as Zane Lowe. While newest track and video To The Door is a mind-melting dystopian Western delight that opens with the twang of Pulp Fiction guitars and traverse into electronic womps that could be matched to Kanye West's Yeezus.
Speaking to Matt Wilkinson of Beats 1, frontman Henry took the time to elaborate on the story behind the video (To The Door), saying "It took one day to film, it was intense. The video was recorded in London, just North of Camden, we rented the mechanical bull, I had to ride on that for about an hour. If I can say so, I was the best on the mechanical bull, I was having to swing a microphone in the air, which is actually quite difficult, while I was on a mechanical bull lip syncing the track - many times I hit myself in the face with the microphone, I started bleeding and stuff. It's hard."
Check out the full Beats 1 interview here.
You must know by now that, with HMLTD, there are absolutely no half measures. Their entire existence, and everything within it, is channeled into their art, music, look and their videos. They repeatedly reinforce the statement that they are much more than musicians, they are creatives and they are artists. They give their all into their ground-breaking universe and they expect you to do the same. The boys have whipped up a buzz with their controversial, violent lyrics and their (now deleted) Tumblr page that depicted people in body bags, white hands wrapped around guns and a leather glove with semen on it. The London outfit aren't for the faint hearted, but if it's the decadent and the daring you're looking for, then you're in the right place. SPRUCE UP YOUR FRIDAY WITH HMLTD !!! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU !!!
Words by Ben Davies
featured image courtesy of NME