Photo: Rhys Buchanan

5th May | The Louisiana

You’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d stepped inside a garish nightmare, rather than the Louisiana to see HMLTD. Pink velvet drapes hang around the room, blown up rubber gloves adorn the walls as makeshift balloons, whilst mannequin limbs stick out at odd angles from the ceiling. There is absolutely no mistaking that the dark, maximalist art-pop sextet are in town.

The band’s bright coloured hair and 80’s new romantic threads have been just as integral to their rise as their music, and their aloof and extrovert image gives the air of genuine rock stars before even playing a note. From the opening vocals and punching drums of ‘Stained’ the room dissolves; bodies sweat and glisten, the smell combining with spray-paint fumes, adding a fourth dimension to the garish universe the group have curated.

The bass is overwhelming, the guitars swing between psychotic feedback and tangled spaghetti western, whilst singer Henry Spychalski commands the room, his blue mullet plastered to his face. Unfortunately, the group’s energy and prowess don’t make up for the fact that the songs themselves are lacking. This doesn’t detract from the spectacle though; there are few bands around at the moment that could plunge you so effectively into a dystopian nightmare. But for HMLTD to survive the hype, they will need songs as enchanting as their visuals.

Check out ‘To The Door’ below.