HMLTD - West of Eden
West of Eden
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"West of Eden" is an unexpectedly fun record that pulls so much out of the kitchen sink yet a lot of it actually works! The variation is off the wall, with one going through a post-punk/trap fusion (it's way better than it sounds). While there are a couple moments of filler, the overall record was a joyous experience for me. The goth and glam stylings are great, the production is creative and the lyrics are frighteningly hilarious.

Fav Tracks: LOADED; Where's Joanna?; To the Door; ... read more
I feel like this is gonna be the breakthrough record of 2020. It is bold, theatrical and packs a heavy punch. The West is Dead is an outstanding opener. What sets this apart is the ambition, it just keeps adding more and more with every track. It is truly genre bending in that AOTY is forced to call it Art Pop. I feel like there is a bit of filler (Wheres Joanna, Why?, and Death Drive) and it is a bit all over the place at times. Overall though, this is one of my favorites this year.
Edit: just ... read more
I would by lying to say I wasn’t impressed with this record, mostly because it completely phased through every sort of bleak expectation I had for it. I had a few people I chat with say it was rather boring, some say it was fantastic, and for me going in blind? I really didn’t have much hopes of being blown away.

However, this album gradually grew over listens into one of the more unique albums so far this year. HMLTD, although I never heard their previous work, sound a lot more ... read more
Okay, I would like to preface this review by saying I do actually like this album, but I'm going to be a bit harsh because this album has some *glaring* issues.

I'll start with the positives: the album all the way up until Why? is great. It's cohesive, all of the songs hit (especially LOADED, which is a total banger) . The production is quirky in a good way; it takes common musical tropes then flips them on their head. The vocals are eccentric and theatrical, complimenting the instrumentals ... read more
Been waiting for this album for months. It did not disappoint.

Throughout the 20th century, one of the most prominent cultural products of the West was rock'n'roll. Bands like Beatles and Queen were the symbols of the English-speaking world. In many ways, West of Eden inherited its spirit from rock'n''roll but took it to new lengths. All in all, this album is emblematic of the death of of rock'n'roll, as it combines rock with an amalgamation of genres, some of which includes Eastern ... read more
Holy shit. The first album of 2019 to truly blow me away. I have no idea what to even make of this right now. It's the same feeling I felt listening to Schlagenheim last year. Unbelievable record.

Fav Tracks: The West Is Dead; LOADED; The Ballad of Calamity James; To The Door; Satan, Luella and I; Mikey's Song; 149; Joanna; Where's Joanna?; Death Drive; Nobody Stays in Love MMXX A.D.
Least Fav Track: Why?
HMLTD artistically has the positive attitude that any artist should have, while possessing the talent, which is not given to everyone. West of Eden is a dazzling atypical work that takes you on a journey through paths and landscapes that are both delirious and prodigious. They knew how to capture and impregnate all their 70/80/2000 influences to give a new excellent album to the Post Punk style which never stops showing how much it has no limits, by adding electronic sounds and ... read more
HMLTD have had one of the most tumultuous times as a band. From major label angst to social media disputes to losing a band member, the production of this album has been a long, painful process. And despite every hurdle thrown at them, they have still managed to develop a deliciously dark, witty, and glamorous debut that oozes creativity.

Don't expect the music here to make much sense, but do expect to enjoy it immensely. It is art pop at its finest, and as weird and wacky as it is, it manages ... read more
The drama kid in me is shaking

The best kind of debut is the rare one where the artist comes through with a sound that isn’t just refreshing and unique, but fully-formed. HMLTD have delivered exactly that. For as long as some of these songs have been out there, it’s incredible that The West Is Dead isn’t merely coherent, but a consistently charismatic and engrossing experience. The dark Western flair gives the band a quirk with which to twist post punk with both goth and ... read more
West of Eden is a huge mixed of genres form post-punk to art rock to art pop, glam punk with elements of dance and synth. It had to label this record but want is more importantly this record is so fun to listen especially with this wide range of songs it truly never gets boring during the 15 tracks but even with this amount of sounds and styles the album itself never loses that much focus. Honestly, this is a fantastic debut and excited to see what HMLTD has install next

Track Review

The ... read more
This album is pure genius. It's hilarious, edgy and brilliant. Probably is the most genre-bending album of the year, with is mix of punk, glam rock and glitched electronic music. Considering this is their debut album, I think that HMLTD have what it takes to change radically this decade.

HMLTD are pushing the boundaries of modern pop music on “West of Eden”, where creating a theatrical and eclectic musical landscape is taken as more important than showing off cohesiveness or theme in subject matter. They are masters of blending genres without the use of boring gimmicks or fleshed out ideas, and each track here shows a different side to the ever-expanding, multi-facetted dodecahedron of modern music.

Color: Green
FAV TRACKS: all except least fav!
LEAST FAV: ... read more
If you take a look at different mediums that recommend other artists similar to HMLTD, you get the sense that the act is hard to categorize. On this website acts like Weyes Blood and Mitski are mentioned, whereas on Spotify bands like Shame, Idles and Viagra Boys are suggested. This is quite obviously a strange juxtaposition, but I would argue HMLTD do something completely different from arguably either of these comparisons on their debut record West of Eden.

From right out of the gate, HMLTD ... read more
It's been a while since an album's put this much a smile on my face. This is stellar. It's an incredible post-punk album integrated with elements of synth-pop, noise-pop, and art-rock.

This artful fusion has allowed them craft a fantastical groovy soundscape drenched in experimentation. The songwriting on this album's so witty, somewhat manic and honestly hilarious. Henry Spychalski has gives me such a dynamic and flamboyant performance only akin to Freddie Mercury.

I don't have too many ... read more
This album is fantastic. This sounds like Bauhaus, Depeche Mode, The Prodigy, Voltaire, and 80s Bowie had a horrible bastard child that came to make you dance and call you a twat. The West is Dead kicks off the record with throbbing techno that absolutely will not let up. Loaded thumps with gothic, grimy synths that churn and it has the vocals to match while it throbs along. By the time you get to Mikey's Song it is a wild mix of Bowie and Voltaire theatrics set to piano and funky bass lines ... read more
As much as I have been a huge fan of these guys since their EP, this just really didn’t resonate with me all that much. Yes their sound is unique and fully formed, and it’s definitely something great to build upon.

Their EP was one of my favorite projects of 2018 so to say I was excited for this was an understatement. And don’t get me wrong there are a lot of fantastic moments on this record, but there’s a lot of dull ones as well. I think some of the western flashes ... read more
Impressed with how much I enjoyed this and how shocked I was to expect something different but got something totally unorthadox yet familiar. I loved the anthemic cuts from this project that made the album larger than life and the synth pop that totally went against the opening and closing tracks. HMLTD feels like New Order but in the apocalypse, if I can give em that tag. This is going to turn a lot of heads this year, I feel it.
I've been waiting for HMLTD to finally release their debut album for quite some time now, and oh boy, it did not disappoint.

Happy Meal's trademark punk/electronic/hip-hop/folk music with 80's flavoring on top has conceived a wild and fun ride through the dystopian world that is the 21st century.

Sure, sometimes, like on LOADED, their lyrics sound a bit too mindlessly edgy, but when at their best, Spychalski's wild vocals and terrifying lyrics create a completely visceral experienced, like ... read more
EDIT: Everything I said below is true, but there are its moments of filler and some of the lyrics can be corny at times. None of this stops it from being super groundbreaking and refreshing, but I don't think it's consistent enough to warrant a 9/10.

This is one of those rare albums that makes me realize why I listen to music. The joy of hearing something amazing for the first time, the way that many subsequent listens allow the peeling back of layers of detail, and the ... read more
west of eden isn't my cup of tea, even though every element of it is right up my alley. hmltd takes on a weird sound that seems to combine 80s music and dark cabaret, which is a promising mashup, but they don't use the right parts of either of these styles, opting for cheesy theatrics over anything else. genuinely good songs like "the ballad of calamity jones" and "joanna" are quickly overshadowed by the soulless "loaded" or the annoyingly over-the-top "to the ... read more
[Third song in]: This is fun, this is so much fun. Hack yeah!

[Satan, Luella & I]: This song is strong and smooth at the same time.....

[Mikey's Song]: Ugh, I don't know how many times I loop this song...

[Why?]: Honestly, the first I heard it, the "weeb" popped in to my head. But no, oh no, this song definitely delivered. The whole build up lead to a euphoric moment, my ear orgasmed.

[Overall impression]: I love this album, the many headbanging moments really get me going, ... read more
When I Heard That HMLTD Was Coming Out With A Record, I Was Ready To See What They We’re Capable If Since Their EP Was Fantastic.
And Oh My... Was This Amazing!

This Project Is Easily One Of The Most Versatile Projects I’ve Ever Heard And To Pull It Off In Such A Fantastic Way Is Absolutely Amazing! The Project Is So Catchy And Fun, While Blending Various Styles Of Rock & Pop!

Everything I Could’ve Asked For Was On This Record
The energy that eminates from this project is so beautiful and intense. There's such a variety of sounds and styles that are at play throughout the runtime and they all sound so good. The sheen surrounding each song is pristine and glimmering with flare and beauty. It felt like one moment I was listening to the soundtrack of a Tarantino film, then I'd be transported to a dusty basement in Chicago for an underground punk concert. And I was never given the opportunity to blink, in fear of the ... read more
This record makes me feel the same way Everything Everything's Get to Heaven felt when I first heard it. It may seem disjointed and fragmentary at first, but there's a gorgeous and unexpected cohesion in all its incohesive glory.
Fast, angst-ridden, provocative, smart, cutting and sharp. Just some of the positive pronouns I could use to describe West of Eden. The first real amazing album of the decade. It may prove too much for some, however the groups balance of electronic music, glam and punk rock into a vicious cocktail documenting the fall of Western civilisation. And this is only the group’s debut. Truly a splendid and ambitious effort from one of England’s most promising young bands.

Best track- To ... read more
The debut album by HMLTD is as interesting and great as you should expect.

Though I have read some reviews that dislike it, the western elements really really do it for me, they're fun and interesting and I think overall they work cohesively and unfairly well where they are used. The West is Dead and LOADED are just punchy as hell and a perfect way to launch you straight into the album and just when you the think the album is going to start to drag through its 15 tracks around the middle you ... read more
HMLTD, whew. I had to let this one sit with me a while.

The first part of this album is insanely strong. The way that each song flows into the next and the level of pure angst, theatricality, and catchiness gripped me and took me for a journey. If the entirety of West of Eden's tracklist was as focused and brilliant as the first six songs, this would have been an easy 10/10 for me.

But then we get to "Why?". And it does have me wondering "Why?" is it there? Not that it's ... read more
This album is actually blowing my mind. How do you do something like this. Sonically it just blends so many sounds, there’s not really a label I can put on this thing, it just feels like its own thing, what on earth even is this? It jumps from genre to genre so flawlessly, even when it decides to do so fairly instantaneously (To The Door does this I believe). This is truly unbelievably creative.

It’s a ridiculous record rooted in cynicism, applying the hysteria of life into its ... read more
This is not even a genre. It's...just music
god tier songwriting
Fav tracks: The West Is Dead, LOADED, To the Door, Satan, Luella & I, 149, Where’s Joanna?, Death Drive, Nobody Stays in Love, Blank Slate, War Is Looming

A fantastic debut. The label of 'Art Pop' falls short here. This record has so many styles that I do not how to describe it. The only thing I do know is that the quality of the music displayed throughout the whole record is always high.
Not a bad album, but an EXTREMELY frontloaded one. Early on, I was totally getting what HMLTD were going for here: the album felt exciting and theatrical, and the quirky were really working. The opener was excellent, and the tracks "To the Door" and "Satan, Luella & I" were also very solidly put together. However, it's around track 6 or 7 where it feels like the album sort of takes a different direction that I wasn't as much a fan of: instead of the overly theatrical, ... read more
ok its been a week. i spent a whole ass week listening to this. conclusion: the best album of 2020 so far
HMLTD with their full length debut give us the absolutely ridiculous Post Punk album we all deserve. It’s full of twists ad turns, over the top performances, constantly shifting instrumentals, influences from all corners of the globe, and so much more. There’s little down time and little fluff, and I still think they can come out with an album even more exciting.

Give A Listen To: "The West Is Dead", "LOADED", "The Ballad of Calamity James", ... read more
Self-obsessed and insufferable. To me, this sounds like a parody of the new and interesting bands cropping up around the UK right now.
With only a touch of unfocused direction in the second half, HMLTD's debut shows their diverse influences through explosive bangars of deep grooves, idiosyncracy, sharp wit, and a unique personality to separate from the rest


Worst Tracks - WHY?
I loved this album. Having not heard any of the previous singles from HMLTD I came to this record entirely new and wow..

It's smart, funny, badass. Songs like To the door, loaded, satan luella & I, blank slate and wheres joanna give us the sort of iconic guitar playing that would make this band legendary if they were around in the 70s. The singer has a unique voice that sounds like no-one else.

The only issue I had with the record is that it's a bit long, and while all of the songs are ... read more
This was a fantastic debut album! HMLTD come through with a cohesive yet eclectic series of genre-blending jams. Post-punk, glam, folk, pop, trap, there are so many sounds on this album that are all mashed together with expert skills to create a unique and apocalyptic sound that feels fresh. Henry Spychalski's vocals here are fucking amazing and sound incredibly unhinged at points as he belts out lyrics that feel smart, edgy and comedic without ever coming across as pretentious or hard to take ... read more
Being fun and weird, it‘s almost impossible to give it a genre.
1st impression :
This album is a big mess. And I was measuring brain tumours for my work when I listened this album, so I know what's a mess !

From the beginning to 5th track, this is really fun to listen, very solid art rock. But 6th track, I don't like Mickey's song. Very generic. And then, all of the tracks are completely detached to the beginning. And these tracks are mostly quirky to be quirky or just bland (nobody stays in love, blank slate for example). The direction of this part is ... read more
Best track: The West Is Dead
Worst track: Why?
i liked the first track, the 80s guitar-heavy stuff afterwards i didn’t really enjoy. a few other songs were alright, but the weird overproduced theatric stuff was just eh
favorite tracks: the west is dead, mikey’s song
least favorite track: loaded
Wow, never heard about them, really surprised. Could be album of the year so far.

Everything falls in place quite well, super groovy, great production, innovative. Crazy instrumental and transitions. But then...loses itself a little after Satan, Luella & I. Recovers after "Where's Joanna?" but never completely.
I can hear the passion
Edit:Passion Is in my brain now
One of the few groups that I wanted to see what's coming next. I really enjoyed few of the tracks but I really hope they come up with some over the top performance and catchy as hell hooks like they used to. Nonetheless I look forward for what's to come.
West of Eden's is a gigantic beautiful mess. It feels like a singles collection thrown with other songs in there (which, technically is true, since most of these songs are - surprise - singles), but it feels cohesive despite the ammount of different genres being attempted here, which go from J-Pop to cowpunk.

So, where to start from an album that covers so many genres? The highs of this are really high: the initial sequence of "The West is Dead" and "Loaded" go from ... read more
Took a couple listens to grow on me, but I enjoy it quite a bit now! Very creative sounds
This is the album I didn’t know I needed.

Favorite Tracks: LOADED, To the Door, Satan, Luella & I, Death Drive, Nobody Stays in Love

Least Favorite Track: Why?
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