Art Rock | Glam Rock
HMLTD caused quite a buzz upon the release of the Hate Music Last Time Delete EP back in 2018. For me, this was when I had first heard the glam rock group’s unyielding and campy style. At this moment in time, I regarded HMLTD as a group with some innovative potential.
But fast-forward to now, and HMLTD have finally release their first full album, as a way to show us what they are truly about. And that album is titled West of Eden.
To start things off, HMLTD take the whole “west” part of their title quite literally, with a western-inspired lacing which is spread across the general instrumentation of the album. Especially in the earliest segment of the album.
And while we’re on that topic, this first segment, for me, was by far the strongest. Ironic that considering the very first track on the album is the dramatic teaser “The West is Dead”, is also the segment which feels like it has the most life to it.
We are also greeted by another teaser following the first, which is the gritty and sinister “LOADED”, which at first listen, I wasn’t overly keen on. However, on the album as a whole, I have definitely come to love this track a hell of a lot more.
One more teaser track that I had heard prior, was one that I was honestly surprised to see on here, and that would be 2018’s “Death Drive”. I wouldn’t have though this track to become a part of this first album cycle, but it certainly doesn’t feel out of place on West of Eden either.
But I was even more surprised to find that some of the tracks on this album which I haven’t yet mentioned, go as far back as 2017! This includes what is probably my favourite track currently “To the Door”, which fits into this album like a glove. The band even went ahead and gave this track a brand new intro-style track titled “The Ballad Of Calamity James”, which only boosted the whole western aesthetic.
Oddly enough, the western inspiration wasn’t the only aesthetic which I felt. There was a selection of tracks which oddly enough gave off a slightly My Chemical Romance type of feel. Most noticeably, the fun pair of tracks “Joanna” and “Wheres Joanna?” brought me straight back to MCR’s “Mama”, but obviously just more standard rock-inspired as opposed to hard-rock.
While there are a good selection of songs to pick from West Of Eden, the most glaring issue for me about the whole project was its mid-section. For me, this part of the album had several ugly blotches of dead points on the album, and it was certainly where my interest was most dwindling. Tracks like “Mikey’s Song” or “Why?” just felt so awfully uninspired to me. But the duds on this thing unfortunately end up detracting from the overall experience in this case, and I feel that the album had the potential to be marvellous, if tracks like those weren’t included.
I also have a small issue with how there doesn’t seem to be an awful lot of completely new material on the album, as I later discovered with some of the tracks even being released before the Hate Music Last Time Delete EP. In a way, it kind of feels like an album that should’ve been and gone already. But simultaneously, I am glad to see that things feel like they’re really beginning to kick off for HMLTD.
When all is said and done, West of Eden is a very solid way to kick off the band’s proper beginning of their discography, and I am hopeful that this debut album will mark the end of the band toying around with old singles, and will put them on the path to starting and completing more consistent album cycles.
While there is still some room for improvement, there is still a generous helping of enjoyable music to sink your teeth into, and I imagine it would prove even more enjoyable for those who have only been introduced to the band through this new project.
In conclusion, I am extremely excited to see what they do next. The sense of innovation that I felt with the band upon listening to their EP, has only been renewed by this album.
Favourite Tracks: LOADED | To The Door | Blank Slate
Least Favourite Track: Mikey’s Song
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