Despite an aesthetic rooted in the storied androgynous tradition of glam rock and new romanticism, HMLTD appear less defined by the rigid tropes of the past, instead transcending genre boundaries at a whim; hybridising art rock, trap, electro and post-punk elements with quickfire elasticity. Formerly known as Happy Meal Ltd, the five-piece have previously issued glimpses of their penchant for quasi-new wave decadence, albeit in a chequered fashion - a scattering of singles and 2018 EP release Hate Music Last Time Delete to their name. Testament to the outfit's commitment to creative independence, West Of Eden indulges in a vision freed from the corporate machinations that have proved a professional thorn in the band's side in recent years, namely their breakdown in relations with Sony.
HMLTD's backstory is a short but complex one. One of Britain's most talked-about new groups around 2017, the extravagant art school quintet then went on to ink a huge major label deal with Sony. But that deal dissolved, taking a great deal of buzz with it. 'West Of Eden' is one of 2018's most anticipated debuts seeing daylight at last.
I t seemed as though HMLTD's moment had come and gone. A couple of years ago, their riotous gigs were the most fun you could have while paying too much for warm cans of lager, but a deal with Sony seemed a stretch for a band who, no matter how great they were live, didn't seem to be rolling in radio-friendly hit singles. They were duly dropped and, as their contemporaries from the scene based around the Windmill in south London overtook them - Shame, Goat Girl, Black Midi - HMLTD seemed condemned to having been a brief but startling firework.
London's HMLTD have enjoyed one of the more interesting career arcs of the last five years. The Band To Watch in 2017 cultivated a substantial following off the back of their first two singles; the genre skipping double A-side 'Stained/Is This What You Wanted?' and the pre-Old Town Road cowboy trap number 'To The Door' cemented their reputation as an exciting musical force. The buzz of the early singles combined with the "fully realised phantasmagoric spectacle" of their live shows drummed up further hype.