HMLTD burst onto the scene unnervingly fully-formed with the release of the double A-side ‘Stained/Is This What You Wanted’ in 2016 and were hailed saviours of rock by many eager critics.
Image credit: Paul Hudson via Flikr
They return now with the first single ahead of a hotly anticipated debut album fans suspect will be released before the year’s end.
‘Death Drive’ attempts to sit Uncle Sam down in the therapist’s armchair for psychoanalysis. HMLTD are voracious in their sonic influences, drawing together eclectic elements formerly deemed irredeemably disparate. It’s as if Death Grips suddenly became obsessed with musical theatre, or Depeche Mode decided to fully integrate the shadow. Except it’s none of those: it’s HMLTD.
The band takes the bold decision to open with an almost totally unaccompanied vocal for the first minute of the track, establishing the unsettling tone by the proximity of Henry Spychalski’s tortured yelping and gasping. Meanwhile, the video interprets the lyrical content quite literally, with spliced footage of cars crashing punctuating dark scenes of the topless frontman contorting anxiously in the back of a taxi.
Everything HMLTD has released so far has been, if not pleasant, truly fascinating. We wait eagerly to see what they’re capable of on a full-length LP.