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Methyl Ethel didn’t need excessive theatrics or high scale production to get the crowd dancing at The Corner

There’s a lot of weird and wonderful music coming out of Perth, so much so that natives Methyl Ethel put together a lineup full of its residents on their album tour.
 
Erasers enchanted with their drone pop, while rapper extraordinaire Reef Prince spat fire within his verses. While stylistically both supports aren’t akin to Methyl Ethel, there’s a lot to be said about a lineup of diverse genres. The members of Methyl Ethel could be spotted in the crowd before they took to the stage, drummer Chris Wright even doing the sound for both supports.
 
It was evident that Methel Ethyl, as individuals, are masters of their craft the minute they started playing. Lead singer Jake Webb immersed himself in his sample pad before launching into Summer Moon. There was a new intensity to the track when performed live, accentuated particularly by Thom Stewart’s repeated bass note.
 
Enlisting a new live member in Hamish Rahn, the wondrous No. 28 became more euphoric, the groove of the song making the crowd feel compelled to dance. There was little room to move in the sold out bandroom, Webb addressed the crowd with an elated “You came. You all came.”
 
L'Heure des Sorcières has a darker, rave-esque edge to it that was amplified live, while Drink Wine’s dazzling opening was hypnotic. Throughout the set, fans were treated to extra flourishes in instrumentation – rather than simply ending songs as they sound on the record, they were extended into mesmerising sonic masterpieces.
 
While the setlist was mostly tracks off their new album Everything Is Forgotten, highlights off their debut Shadowboxing and Twilight Driving got a feature, the latter saw the band wielding their instruments as they lost themselves in the atmospheric intro.
 
Closing on the stomping Ubu seemed an obvious choice, but there was a palpable shift in audience excitement when the sample that opens the track started to play. The infamous lyric “Why’d you have to go and cut your hair?” was recited back with great enthusiasm, Webb clearly enjoying the rousing response.
 
Methyl Ethel didn’t seem to have any pretense about them, simply playing their music sans any excessive theatrics or high scale production. This allowed the songs to breathe on their own, captivating audiences simply by their sheer power. It’s no surprise they’re going from strength to strength, but rather than showing any sign of contentment the band are continually pushing their sound to greater heights.  
 
Words by Holly Pereira
Image by Andrew Bibby
 
Highlight: Jake Webb’s bashful banter.
Lowlight: The lack of live saxophone on Twilight Driving.
Crowd Favourite: Seeing members of the crowd dancing the entire set.