Submit to the Subversive Glamour of HMLTD

Indie | Tuesday 24th July 2018 | Alice

HMLTD (formerly Happy Meal Ltd.) are an experience. Of art, of fashion, of punk, and glamour. They are about as subversive as you can get from the norm of male guitar-led bands, exploring androgyny, sexuality, extravagance and decadence; they are a spectacle of performative perfection.

Their music calls upon New Romanticism, punk rock of old and new, electronica and synthpop, as well as being gritty and heavy. It’s dark and seductive while being fun and self-assertive. Their debut EP Hate Music Last Time Delete, released in July, is an exhibition of their art through four pounding songs – and one remix by New Wave heroes Soft Cell.

‘Pictures of You’ (not a Cure cover) is a sinister, creeping opener, concerned with addiction to a person through their image, an aesthetic desire rather than an emotional one. ‘Proxy Love’ is a big, bold statement of synth energy, displaying their influences from 80’s musicianship, empowered by a universal “yearn for love” that is as ever-present in today’s counter culture as it was back then. The song’s anthemic dynamism, along with the existence of Soft Cell’s remix, brings together a culture of misfits and outcasts that the band represent, and that have existed through many variations of the genre of artpop for decades.


‘Mannequin’ is a confident, strutting creature, with a vocal performance from frontman Henry Spychalski that Bowie would be proud of. Again dissecting the shape of the human form, the song pours over an object of femininity and beauty, but one that is cold, rigid, and only of material value. ‘Apple of My Eye’ is the most experimental, DIY track on the EP, screaming “Love me” in your face so loudly that it can’t be ignored.

The sentiment that echoes through their work shows exactly what HMLTD are fighting for. Using glamourous excess to gain attention for the outsiders of society, they are an expression of individuality who refuse to go unnoticed any longer.