This new wave of psychedelic music is really exciting me. Tame Impala swept the market, and the world, by storm with their familiar, nostalgic and down right high-quality brand of revival, space psychedelic rock. While they continue to spread their currents across the globe, looking closer to home, there’s a sweeping trend of a more glamoruised, stylistic interpretation of psych rock. Bands like the Belligerents, Moses Gunn Collective, Orphans Orphans, etc all fit this bill. Methyl Ethel is the apex of this intricate musical genre point.
Released in June of this year, Methyl Ethel’s debut album, “Oh Inhuman Spectacle” is a vivid reimagining of Australian, grass-roots psych rock. It’s quirky and inspired with a dash of magic thrown in at every hook. I was, however, a little sceptical to witness how their psych majesty would translate on stage. Those concerns were quickly whisked away into a bobbing, hip-shaking dance thanks to early jams like, ‘Shadowboxing’ and ‘Rogues’.
A big draw point to Methyl Ethel’s music is singer and lead guitarist Jake Webb’s unique infusion of idiosyncratic soul music with a hint of John Lennon. Chatting with group earlier in the day, Jake showed little indication of his fascinating vocal abilities. When appearing on stage later that night at the Elephant, his rare vocals chord cut sharp through the psych wave that was occurring.
Bassist Thom Stewart remains relatively reserved on stage, grooving along and keeping in time – as much as a good bassist should. His calming and humble presence harkens to that of Nick Allbrook’s former Tame Impala days. Keeping at one with the magic, yet showboating a natural talent.
BIGSOUND boats an impressive roster of upcoming talent from local to abroad. Methyl Ethel didn’t demand your attention, but they absolutely deserve it.
By Jake Wilton