On his third album as Methyl Ethel, Western Australia’s Jake Webb explores loss, loneliness and isolation. But Triage doesn't sound morose or depressing; with its transfixing blend of psych-rock guitars, goth-pop synths and inventive self-recorded samples, this is his most exciting music to date.
Webb has stated that he used his first two albums to cope with difficult personal issues—failed relationships, damaged friendships—by intentionally ignoring them. Here, he tried something different: searching for closure by opening old wounds and questioning everything. Each track sees him revisiting old memories and feelings—masked, of course, by surreal lyricism, fragmented thoughts and existential musings. On the warbly “Post-Blue”, he personifies a past deception: “The first lie, so light/I held it inside, then I saw it creeping up the walls.” He considers his darker urges on the theatrical “Hip Horror”, which matches dramatic piano with a deeply catchy bassline and one of the album’s best melodies: “I’ve been thinking of my violent side/It might have silently made a start/Were you undercover when the shots were fired?/I was silent, I went silently.” We may never know if Webb found the closure he was hoping for—but there can be no doubt that he had some cathartic fun along the way.