Reviews

Methyl Ethel
Oh Inhuman Spectacle

(4AD)

6/10

Perth’s Jake Webb is one of those prodigiously talented multi-instrumentalists who has enough strings to their bow to record every part of their music themselves. After a couple of EPs and a bit of local buzz in Western Australia, this is his debut full-length, and it starts very well indeed; ‘Idée Fixe’ is like a weirded-up 80s soft-rock power ballad, channelled through a gently psychedelic prism, while ‘Rogues’ is a sunnily melodic effort that evokes wide skies and sunshine.

There’s a psychedelic, hazy thread that runs though ‘Oh Inhuman Spectacle’, interspersed with slabs of melody. ‘Twilight Driving’ has distinct shades of Fleetwood Mac, the kind of song that evokes images of sepia-toned concert footage from the 70s. Elsewhere though, songs like ‘Sweet Waste’ are ineffably dull; one of those numbers that would sound good on drugs but is otherwise pretty tedious. This is a huge-sounding album with grand ambitions, and Webb’s skill as a songwriter is self-evident. But there’s just not quite enough here to tip it from good to great.

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