LIVE: HMLTD @ Yes, Manchester

London's art/glam-rockers take their album celebrations North for an evening at Yes, Manchester.
Posted: 24 February 2020 Words: Matty Dagger
SilkArmour open proceedings as the part-band part-electronic three-piece start the night with an impressive set. Drum pads and guitars create a soundscape that mixes ambience with sudden electro bass drum dives that shake the room. The room is full for this performance of art-pop that compliments the headliners from London.

When performing, HMLTD has always had a certain resolute confidence about themselves. Confidence that sets them apart as purveyors of a type of self-expression that transfixes and inspires many.

The aforementioned transfixed and inspired have sold out Yes Bar tonight, and erupt as soon as the five-piece appear at the stage door. It's the same stage door that they passed through just a few months back for Neighbourhood Festival. This time around, however, there's the addition of pure triumph in their collective gait as they march into the pink room spotlight. They've got the debut album West of Eden up their sleeves, and it's theirs to flaunt.

The band line up in perfect formation in front of their drummer. Just like a 'choose your character' selection at the start of a video game. Such is the brilliantly outlandish apparel that they adopt for their theatrics. The music is no afterthought, however, as jarring yet impressive arrangements are executed with skill. It's an intricate blend of poppy, guitar-driven, experimental whatever-you-call-it; in truth, it knows no stylistic boundaries. As a result, they are enabling singer Henry Spychalski to pursue his icon status freely on stage.

There is a glitzy 80s-era injection into the outfit. Madonna and how deeply she understood the power of image springs to mind. HMLTD use similar skills to alleviate the preconception of what a five-piece guitar band can be. Stand out tracks include, 'LOADED', 'Proxy Love' and 'Flex'.

Photo Credit: Sye Lewis

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