Methyl Ethel bring us more modern, psychedelic, dream-rock that has almost become a staple of Perth’s music scene with their second album Everything is Forgotten. Comparisons to Tame Impala are inevitable, but with Kevin Parker and co on indefinite hiatus, Methyl Ethel’s latest offering may have come at the perfect time to take them out from under that colossal shadow and carry on the Aussie indie-rock baton.
This album makes forays outside of psychedelia specifically into 80s New-Wave inspired synth and the trio even takes the French avant-garde getup and gormless, sullen gaze normally attributed to Robert Smith.
This new-wave influence is clearest on leading single Ubu (reference to oafish, Trump-like anti-hero of French theatre perhaps? – Perhaps this arts student reading too far) with its mopey, pop beat and synth undertones accompanied by frontman Jake Webb’s wailing pleas to a withdrawn friend or former lover, it creates a constant but catchy barrage of sound.
Second Single No. 28 is more upbeat and has the familiar sound of Australian Indie that you might hear in a trendy Fremantle music venue. The lazy meandering riff carries you though to the gentle crescendo as Webb’s characteristic vocals echo around.
L’Heure des Sorcieres picks up the pace to a more frantic level in the albums most synth inspired track but then crashes back down to the bare acoustics of Act of Contrition, which features a prayer in French that’s sampled underneath in homage to classical French high culture.
Weeds Through The Rind again brings up those new-wave roots and wouldn’t sound out of place on a Cure album with its twangy bassline and effect laden synths.
All together this second showing reveals a band developing their sound further and it will be interesting to see whether the new-wave sound is merely a toe in the water or hint at the bands future direction.
It’s an altogether solid album best listened to as a whole as some songs have a tendency to blend into your memory of others, but I look forward to seeing how they incorporate this new material into live shows on their upcoming world tour.