Album Review: Methyl Ethel – Everything Is Forgotten

Friday, March 10, 2017

Since the release of their debut album Oh Inhumane Spectacle in 2015, Methyl Ethel has undoubtedly become one of my personal favourite bands to break out of Australia in some time. Jake Webb, the musical mastermind behind the outfit, is fast proving himself worthy of a seat next to Kevin Parker at the top of the Australian music scene. With that, I would also go as far as saying that they are probably one of the most underrated bands in Australia (sharing that crown with Client Liason) — but that’s a conversation for another day.

Since their first release 'Twilight Driving', Methyl Ethel have curated a distinctly unique sound that they only share with themselves. Dreamy-synth pop sounds that touch on grunge-rock at times, threaded with not just quirky, but interesting lyrics, giving each track a new platform of substance. They have such a unique vibe that is difficult to match to any other band — and Everything Is Forgotten champions their identity on the scene so god damn perfectly.

They kick things off with 'Drink Wine'. A jittery number that juxtaposes a sinister sounding hook with sweet melodies. I can sense a little Two Door Cinema Club meets Koopa Troopa beach in the backing beat, laced with Webb’s soothing voice that is complimented by layers of his own luscious vocal harmonies. TBH they had me at the 'Drink Wine', everything else is just an added bonus. Killer track. Killer kick off. Yep, love it.

Sup, 'Ubu'! It was love at first listen with you, and I appreciate how much you have grown on me since that day. “Why’d you have to go and cut your hair” – 2017’s most annoyingly catchy lyric. So relatable, though? 'Ubu' is captain of the pop side on the album, with a strong team of 'No. 28' and others. I just want to note, though, it almost seems like a bit of a cop out to deem this standard pop. 

“Listen for me in a very beautiful car accident / Now we’re mangled up together / Righteous like teenagers who couldn’t take it” — Webb exercises a mature take on imagery, using obscure and carefully thought out lyrics that are engaging, accurate and, well, beautiful. Boosting themselves just a little higher than where your standard pop song would sit if you ask me. (Under. Rated.)

From here on in, we are privileged to a plethora of tracks that are consistently consistent, each with a hint of inconsistency. Every track has obviously stemmed from the trunk of Everything Is Forgotten. However, they all boast their own unique characteristics, evoking feelings of content — they could all be a species of their own.

What makes Methyl Ethel’s work exciting is the level of unknown intelligence they seem to bestow upon me while listening. I love an album that provokes you to dig a little deeper, keeps you searching for meanings within the songs, whether they are hidden or obvious.

'Hyakki Yakō' is like the album’s dark hooded Kermit from that meme that has been dominating my Facebook feed for way too long now. I could help but do a lil’ research and found that, cleverly, Hyakki Yakō is a night parade of street demons that is celebrated in Japan. You can really hear the Japanese influences in the bass riff, and the song itself does have a certain sense of unease to it. Pretty crafty stuff if you ask me, I do love an outfit that not only entertains and educates but also advises me the best time to avoid travelling to Japan to ensure there are no unwanted encounters with scary street demons.

'Schlager', the final track, is the shiny red bow that ties everything all together and helps you forget about the scary street demons. Seamless, smooth and easy, like when the scissors glide through the wrapping paper without any effort. The perfect end to a 'Schlager' of an album.

Wait, what’s a Schlagar? Well I’m glad you asked:

Schlager:  (German: [ˈʃlaːɡɐ], “hits“) [1] is a style of popular music which is generally a catchy instrumental accompaniment to vocal pieces of pop music with less demanding, often sentimental lyrics.

Oh Methyl Ethel, you so wise.

Written by Emily Daenell

Methyl Ethel – Everything Is Forgotten
Release date: 3rd March 2017