Methyl Ethel: Triage (4AD) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, March 31st, 2020  

Methyl Ethel

Triage

4AD

Feb 18, 2019 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


When 4AD launched in 1980 it quickly became the most trusted label for fans of independent and eclectic music. Not quite so much anymore. While still priding itself as an outlet for independent bands, the label's music has become a bit less trustworthy. And so it is with Methyl Ethel's Triage, the Australian trio's third album.

Built on the backbone of curlicue bass lines and shiny keyboard melodies, Methyl Ethel share similar aspirations with Muse, to strike a perfect blend of the deftness of progressive rock with the harmonious melodies of pop. It's not quite as bombastic so it comes off sounding like the prog-pop stylings of '70s favorites Styx and Supertramp. Not that there's anything wrong with that, except the sounds are too familiar and seem to be recycled.

Adding to the instability is that the vocals are an acquired taste. Singer Jake Webb can't decide whether he wants to sound like David Bowie or Michael Jackson, so he ends up sounding like a bastardized combination of both.

A couple tracks break from the tired formula and show Methyl Ethel can actually create something unique and entertaining. "All the Elements" and opener "Ruiner" are a flawless merging of instrumental dexterity and fashionable spirit that allow these artists to explore their pop side while indulging their prog tendencies. Much to the delight of the listener.

Unfortunately this wave can't be ridden for a full album, else Triage would warrant a higher rating if it happened on more than a handful of the nine tracks. (www.methylethel.com)

Author rating: 5.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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