Album Review - Methyl Ethel's "Oh Inhuman Spectacle"

By Nathan Pavolko

Perth has been a wonderful place for the growth of music, spawning bands such as Tame Impala and John Butler Trio. Adding to the list, in 2013 Perth gave birth to an amazing young shoegazey pop band called Methyl Ethel, Jake Webb’s reverb-induced coma pop project. Their debut LP Oh Inhuman Spectacle recently came out courtesy of Dot Dash / Remote Control Records, and its filled to the brim with moving pop gems.

Oh Inhuman Spectacle at first glance was a puzzling experience. I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what I was hearing. I was so captivated by the sweeping layers and textures of each song. The more I dug deeper the better the album, as a whole, became. The opening track “Idee Fixe” fills your ear with the swirling of a reverb-soaked guitar and humming keyboard. The tune slowly builds a tragic vocal melody to drop into a funky moving bass line, then immediately shifts gears into the driving rhythm and bending guitar of “Shadowboxing”.

Webb’s unique and initiative songwriting has even landed him and his aliens the WAM Pop Song Of The Year for their other worldly tune “Rogues”. Methyl Ethel truly envelopes you in their dream world, with swirling layers of ethereal melodies and entrancing rhythms. “Unbalancing Acts” shows this with playful vocals echoing in and out as a matching guitar dances around a fire of energetic synth and bass.

Oh Inhuman Spectacle captures that feeling of stillness, floating through the air with an impending sensation you may fall to the ground. It's a beautiful ride doused with melancholy.  In short Oh Inhuman Spectacle is a wonderful debut for Methyl Ethel that has the depth and curiosity to leave you wanting more.

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