Live Review: Methyl Ethel + Erasers + Reef Prince – Corner Hotel, Melbourne (19.05.17)

Playing their third sold out night in a row at the Corner Hotel in Richmond, Methyl Ethel treated Melbourne punters to a delightful night of eargasms. Having just toured Europe and a string shows at Groovin The Moo around Australia, the band are no strangers to playing to big crowds. The packed out venue was bursting with excited spectators eager to get their fix, and when it came, they were not disappointed.

Perth seems to be swarming with weird and wonderful artists at the moment, so it’s no surprise the band dipped into their local pool of obscureness too source the support acts for the evening. First up was Erasers, whose drone pop pumped up the crowd, and then Reef Prince followed, spitting out fast rhymes. Each act had its own niche, serving up a diverse platter.

Methyl Ethel causally strolled on stage and didn’t mess around, diving straight into ‘Summer Moon.’ Their stage presence was one of complete ‘in the zone,’ at times almost looking bored and dazed. But this kind of worked with the songs, as the music did all the talking. It was almost as though each band member was in their own little world; separately playing to the audience, pumping out individual sounds that would beautifully dance together around the room. Lead singer Jake Webb fully absorbed into each song, his unique high vocals giving each lyric a certain mystic. Whilst Thom Stewarts repeated bass note lingered in the room like a ghost and Chris Wright’s drums delightfully filled in the background. Also joining the band on stage was Hamish Rahn who killed it on guitar and effortlessly harmonized with the trio.

The set list mostly consisted of tacks from their recent album Everything Is Forgotten, however every now and then an older song would make an appearance and the crowd would murmur with excitement. Highlights included ‘Rogue’ and crowd favourite ‘Twilight Driving,’ which had everyone swaying and singing along.

The show ended with ‘Ubu,’ arguably their most popular hit, perfectly tying together the night. The eeriness and ambiguity of the track spreading over the audience like a velvet blanket, creating a dazed atmosphere that left the crowd feeling full and content. In a short period of time Methyl Ethel have managed to gain serious momentum, going from strength to strength with each record. Seeing them live, it’s easy to tell that most of this strength comes from the purity of their sound. No theatrics. No over production. Just simple rhythms that gel together nicely and create a standalone charm that’s almost addictive. It’s exciting to see where the band will go next.

Methyl Ethel play Perth tonight before heading to the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney for three sold out nights and two sold out nights at the Wooly Mammoth in Brisbane. Then the group return to Europe! For all the details, head to their Facebook Page.