On the cover of HMLTD’s latest release, we are greeted to a disturbing yet romantic image. A man and women, both sit in a bath of blood-soaked water, the walls behind them spelling out the album title in what also looks like blood. The women dons white face-paint and a red dress, the man bald and naked. It is grotesque yet vulnerable and an image with so many confusing elements thrown together. This is the perfect image to encapsulate the melting pot of genres and influences that go into Hate Music Last Time Delete. Whilst it’s structure feels firmly in glam-pop and there’s shades of nostalgia in each of the four songs, HMTLD mix that with a futuristic production style, incorporating elements of modern genres like trap and chiptune. This keeps their sound from veering into typical 80 revivalism.

Up until this EP, none of HMLTD’s singles have sounded anything alike, each one blending their own hodgepodge of musical styles. While this constant evolution continues on Hate Music Last Time Delete, HMLTD have strung together four tracks that are not worlds apart. The opener ‘Pictures of You’ is perhaps the most contemporary sounding of the four despite sharing its name with a Cure classic, a band from an era the band is clearly well-versed in. The song has a catchy, repetitive hook, but the instrumental is constantly developing; adding trap-hats, synth, crunching guitars. It should be a mess, but each instrument is perfectly layered in service of its infectious pop sound. The vocals on the track sound distinctly different from the other three songs, reminiscent of Rob Swire from Pendulum. The other three tracks bare more similarities to each other, they are all lead by Adam Ant-esque vocals by Henry Spychalski. It shows the range of styles the band is putting out when the same person can sound incredibly different on two separate tracks.

The best two cuts on the EP are the middle tracks, both of which are huge, flamboyant anthems. Productions comes from the incredible producer Clarence Clarity; whose own music is even more chaotic and unhinged than HMTLD. On these tracks Clarence Clarity reigns in his production slightly in order create more-straight forward ear worms. Though that doesn’t stop the constant flicking through genres and textured production he’s know for from showing up on this EP. The beginning of ‘Proxy Love’ sounds like it’s straight out of a 90s Basketball anthem, before sliding into a New Order-esque groove. As the song progresses, it adds sound upon sound until, broken up by a gigantic cheesy chorus. It’s hard to keep up but it’s harder to not be entertained by the progression of each track.

On surface level, these tracks do sound a lot like the 80s bands they draw influence from. HMLTD can seem slightly derivative at points, though each track is built with a thousand flourishes of different genres, there is a clear focus towards the by gone era on this album. ‘Mannequin’ is perhaps the most straight forward track, Clarence Clarity’s frantic production is felt less on this track. ‘Mannequin’ though still built with an incredible attention to detail, comes across as overly dramatic. It has wailed vocals that could keep you from taking it seriously. However, the mission statement of HMLTD has always been to make out-there fringe pop tunes and on ‘Mannequin’ they succeed.

Hate Music Last Time Delete ends with high energy via ‘Apple of My Eye.’ A simple but infectious guitar riff drives us into the most off kilter vocals of the record. The song, much like the rest, deals with love in a kitschy fashion. You won't want for over the top lyrics, to be sure, but power is thrust behind the simplest words ("Love me" and so on) through bombastic instrumental accompaniment.

Though HMLTD wear their influences on their collective sleeve, there are simple too many of them for the band to be truly derivative. Whilst they focus on a glam sound, the band take parts from decades of music and combine them into something that sounds fresh but nostalgic. Like the cover of the EP, it is a confusing and intriguing snapshot.