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METHYL ETHEL @ Badlands gets 9/10

Methyl Ethel @ Badlands
w/ Reef Prince, Erasers
Saturday, May 20, 2017

9/10

Methyl Ethel’s homecoming show was a parade of beautiful lyrics and songs that left listeners in a trance-like state. Playing yet another sold-out gig, Badlands was filled with psych melodies, odd-paired shoes and guitar throwing.

Erasers

Opening the night, Perth duo Erasers were filling the yet to be packed venue with their drone pop. The couple in their somewhat cosy attire was clearly in their music-playing-mode during their half hour set.

Reef Prince

Reef Prince, an interesting local rapper was to follow with his show that lacked no passion. The long-haired singer kept throwing off layers of shirts along with quick rhymes, eventually making his way into the audience bare-chested.

Badland’s cavelike interior was bursting with enthusiastic noise from the audience, even for Methyl Ethel’s ‘setlist guy’.

And when the boys calmly strolled onto stage, the doors of heavenly music were opened with Summer Moon. By the following song, No. 28, the audience was fully engaged. Performing mostly from their recent album Everything Is Forgotten, the band kept the set building well despite some technical difficulties, especially for the singer Jake Webb.

Some of the older songs were also included from the group’s debut Oh Inhuman Spectacle. Twilight Driving with a saxophone addition and Idée Fixe were clearly the crowd’s favourites, as they got everyone not yet jamming to at least nod their heads.

The dress code for Badlands seemed to be very much from the last decade, as is apparently fashion now, and the four members of Methyl Ethel were no exception. Bassist Thom Stewart was wearing a very fascinating, odd pair of bowling shoes, looking like young Mick Jagger. Webb, if comparably modest, certainly delivered a variety of facial impressions varying from intense stares towards the mixing booth to a dizzy gaze to infinity.

The performance was as colourful as their clothing style. At times, it felt like the group was deep in their playing, but gave the music the attention it deserves. In between the songs, while Webb was getting a new cable for his guitar, Stewart was entertaining the audience with his banter. He stated that the reason they play songs back to back is to avoid these talks in between. And he was right, there was no talk needed to make the night magnificent.

The show was ended as gracefully as it started; Webb threw his faithful guitar to the corner (yes, literally) and the band marched off the stage with no chance of encore, despite a few fumbling requests from the front row.

SUVI LOPONEN

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