Hurts to Laugh
Dot Dash/Remote Control
Methyl Ethyl showcased why they’re arguably Australia’s finest pop-rock band on last year’s Triage. The Hurts to Laugh EP proves they’re not slowing doing anytime soon.
These five tracks were apparently recorded in the same 2019 sessions as Triage. If they were excluded for perceived lack of quality then the decision is baffling, as they are equal to or above the choicest cuts on that album. Single Majestic AF is especially strong, living up to its title with its epic build. With washes of strings and its Eastern keyboard melodies, it feels like it draws from Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir but adds a pop sheen.
Honest follows and is another epic, swapping bombast for yearning as frontman Jake Webb tears at the heartstrings with a passionate vocal. The instrumentation again shows creativity, with a great accordion melody popping up out of nowhere during the bridge. Charm Offensive also does as its title suggests. It is a relatively simple track that nonetheless captures ears on the strength of its refrain.
What Memory Found is the only misstep, a low-key mood piece driven by swelling synths that would’ve benefited from more structure. Closer The Quicker is more successful, similarly repetitive but with much more drive courtesy of its chugging rhythm and ascending progression.
Maybe these songs are better served on a standalone EP after all, better appreciated here rather than having their strength diluted deep in an LP. It’s a testament to Jake Webb and the band’s gargantuan songwriting abilities that they have so much in the bank.