Methyl Ethel Covering The Avalanches Is The Best Like A Version Of 2021
The Avalanches' best song gets a titanic makeover.
There are few combinations as perfectly balanced as Methyl Ethel and The Avalanches.
Both make pop of the most outrageous and adventurous sort, hiding their subversion underneath a platinum sheen. Both straddle the line between emotional binaries, making music that is neither happy nor sad; melancholy nor joyful. And both have a distinct, entirely unique way of viewing the world, transforming miniature pains and pleasures into sprawling, complex hits.
Oh, and then there’s both bands’ winking sense of humour. The Avalanches’ best-known hit, ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’, is an arch piece of surreality, while Methyl Ethel have spent their entire career crafting lines that explode the ordinary world into something colourful and strange. After all, who else but Ethel could take the simple act of getting a haircut and turn it into a paean to dedication, love and change?
All of which is a long-winded way of saying, it wasn’t a question of if the two bands would cross paths — it was a question of when. And now, thanks to triple j’s hugely popular Like A Version segment, we finally have the hybrid of the pair, a triumphant cover of not one but two songs — ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’ and ‘Dribble’ by Sycco.
Who would have thought such synthesis would be possible? Methyl Ethel, that’s who.
The band have drawn out the distinct qualities of both tunes and mashed them together, displaying their virtuosic sense of tonal control. It’s one of the best covers mounted in recent years for triple j, which is saying something, given the deluge of incredible content that the national youth broadcaster has been churning out.
I mean, just watch this total lunacy and tell me that it doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart, making that which was old feel fresh and new once again. Methyl Ethel forever, is what I’m saying, basically.