Album Reviews

Album Review: Methyl Ethel – ‘Oh Inhuman Spectacle’ (2016)


I knew instantly when hearing ‘Twilight Driving’ on the radio for the first time that Methyl Ethel would be at the forefront of my daily internet stalk that evening. Unfortunately, the band were quite elusive at that point and, after vigorously exhausting Google, I was left with only questions; when will they be releasing an album? Am I meant to feel this uncomfortable watching a fella consume a peach? Is the bass player actually Mick Jagger circa 1964? So, of course, to pick apart their now released ‘Oh Inhuman Spectacle’ was a delight.

The opening track and current single ‘Idée Fixe’ is a slow burner. Maybe I am swayed by the hip bass line and mesmerising film clip featuring Karis Dawson.

The novel lyrics in ‘Rogues’ include verses about aliens and a temperature reading for both in and outside the house during Summer. And the mysterious, ghostly ‘Also Gesellschaft’ led me back to the affirming arms of Google to find the origins of the vintage-sounding sample. I found nothing… so mysterious.

Nothing compares to first love, ‘Twilight Driving’. That said, ‘Obscura’ is more than easy on the ears and causes my hips to jolt in a groovy manner.

Following on from the Tame-Impala-esque ‘Sweet Waste’, the album closes with a meandering ‘Everything Is As It Should Be’ where songwriter, Jake Webb, defeatedly repeats “This sign is telling me the door is open / But this one is saying that it’s closed”

There’s an expected retro vibe throughout (think Velvet Underground’s ‘Sunday Morning’). Webb’s voice weaves and entwines itself around the nostalgic instrumentals as if they were one. Each track stands on a stage of its own whilst still maintaining a cohesive flow. Oh Inhuman Spectacle is an impressively mature, polished debut.

8.5 / 10.

Written by Laura Cheshire



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