HMLTD: The Worm – album review

HMLTD: The Worm – album review

HMLTD: The Worm – album reviewHMLTD – The Worm   Blessed Amount Audio

LP/CD/DL all formats

Release Day: 7th April

4.5 out of 5


“Dear listener, HMLTD entrance man or woman Mister Henry Spychalski is exhibiting incredibly risky behaviour..”

Back with a 9 track principle album established in medieval England, HMLTD produce their 2nd album, The Worm, to their faithful subjects – a amount that by any rights will be increasing exponentially before long.

HMLTD are in many methods the epitome of a ‘now’ sort of band – a title that appears like a meme, executing outrageous stuff with NFTs, offering their clothes on depop – and yet below they are with an album whose synopsis reads far more like Chaucer by way of Hieronymus Bosch than anything you may possibly hope to experience on TikTok. Two many years in the earning and utilising forty 7 musicians, a gospel choir and a sixteen-piece string orchestra, the band describe The Worm as ‘less a strategy album than a completely-fledged musical universe’ and ‘a present day parable about the impotence felt by persons trapped inside gargantuan, labyrinthine programs of electricity that they are powerless to change’.

The West may not be really useless nonetheless, but the final couple many years considering the fact that the band’s debut LP West of Eden have not infrequently made it feel like nihilistic prophecy. The tour for its release was the past gig I saw before lockdown, and it was appropriately chaotic, thrilling and antagonistic for that slot. Due to the fact then they have place on a truly bonkers a person-night time-only live knowledge referred to as The Buy at London’s Heaven which was established up much more like the Stanford Jail experiment than a regular gig. Mixing retro sci-fi with a feudal serf vs nobility thought, The Purchase acted as an interesting bridge from the themes of the preceding album to the impending, fleshy menace of The Worm.

There is normally a whole lot to chat about with HMLTD. They are not the sort of band who just place out a file, and although they infamously did not rub along perfectly with a big label they exhibit large ambition in every single facet of their output. Videos are an party, gigs are theatrical – in fact this new album comes with an accompanying hardback e book lovingly detailing the bordering mythos. It is difficult to cover every little thing in just a single review, but it would be felony to disregard the delightful concentrations of surplus that cloak anything they do, with The Worm getting no exception.

Opening observe Worm’s Aspiration sets a write-up-apocalyptic tone prior to the clattering, jazz infused Wyrmlands will take more than. Reminiscent of Tilt period Scott Walker (and the bits of Bowie that audio like Tilt period Scott Walker) Wyrmland is an outrageous shriek of horror that contains just adequate melody and moments of musical respite to help you save it from impenetrable cacophony. It’s bravely positioned as the very first observe appropriate and will act as a reliable litmus take a look at for these not likely to make it a lot more with this cavalcade of weirdness.

The subsequent keep track of The Conclusion Is Now is a standout, and a scarce minute of relative simplicity. A funky, 70s soul tinged banger that does an immaculate occupation of reminding you what qualified pop writers this band are. The sort of song that justifies to be a smash strike in a just globe – however if there is just about anything this album tells us not to expect, it’s a just entire world.

Times is an exquisite, mournful, haunting ballad with echoes of Japan. Fundamentally a duet, the feminine vocals in this article get the job done wonderfully with Spychalsk’s to develop a lovely cocoon of a tune that appears intimate until finally you listen to the lyrics. Saddest Worm At any time turns up the speed once more, leaning toward David Byrne in its slower times prior to ramping into big, glammy pop-rock hooks. This is the monitor most reminiscent of West of Eden, particularly Loaded and Deathdrive.

Liverpool Road and The Worm the two offer substantial sections of spoken term exposition and when I’m not going to faux that I fully realize what’s heading on, the latter presents a really crystal clear define of the metaphorical issue that is remaining created:

“Today I proclaim that a worm has swallowed England!
And inspite of what you have been explained to
It is not of a face, nor spine, nor legs
It does not want your careers, your women of all ages, or your cattle sheds
The Worm lives deep within yourselves
And you reside deep inside the Worm
Hatred is the Worm!
Envy is the Worm!
Ego is the Worm!”

The Worm lives inside us and around us, wriggling, gnawing, eating us from the within out and the exterior in.

At this level the album feels like it has drawn to a purely natural summary, albeit a instead bleak a single. It, hence, will come as one thing of a shock when the optimistic rally cry of Earlier Lifestyle (Sinnerman’s Track) kicks in. I am grateful for the bracketed portion of this song’s title, simply because whilst it is fantastically pleasing, to say that it owes a financial debt to Nina Simone’s Sinnerman would be an understatement! Plainly they are mindful of this even so, and so I am happy to file it beneath ‘loving homage’ and enjoy it for what it is.

Closing observe Lay Me Down is an unanticipated album highlight at a level you could be assuming the most effective to be around. A gospel infused protest music that explodes into joyous, optimistic and uncharacteristically ethereal melodies. Perhaps it’s heading to be okay right after all. Not for the reason that the sky isn’t on fire, or the seas aren’t broiling or because we aren’t all section of the exact unwell worm – but mainly because it does not genuinely issue any far more and this is how it was usually meant to finish.

Like West of Eden, The Worm is another report that skitters by means of genres, influences and sounds, but in this scenario forms a far extra cohesive total image. Even though it probably lacks the giddy pop heights of one thing like Mikey’s Music, it feels far more satisfying when swallowed total. An album like this is by no means likely to be everyone’s cup of mead, but it totally warrants to seal their popularity as one of the most interesting bands out there.


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All words and phrases by Susan Sloan. More of her operate for Louder Than War is available on her archive. Find her on Instagram as @thesmureviews and check out Susan’s website below.

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