Green Milk from the Planet Orange

City Calls Revolution

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Green Milk from the Planet Orange's first album for Beta-Lactam Ring consisted mostly of old songs re-recorded. City Calls Revolution contains only brand new material and features new bassist T (everyone in the band goes by an initial, now). The music still draws loads of inspiration from progressive rock and fusion, but the psychedelic vibe is stronger than ever, as the group moves closer to the experimental tendencies of Acid Mothers Temple. As a result, this album may be more difficult, but also more exciting than their previous one. After two or three minutes of synthesizer doodles, Dead K, A, and T take off for an exhilarating 20-minute ride titled "Concrete City Breakdown." By far the most progressive number here, the piece features strong themes and several surprising variations. The playing is more than inspired, hinting at King Crimson, Miles Davis' electric band, and Ruins. It provides the undisputed highlight and ranks as one of the best tracks the group has recorded yet. "Omgs" adopts a punkier attitude, with a passing nod to the Stick Men (or the New York no wave scene in general). More aggressive, it can become irritating. "Demagog" goes by rather unnoticed after that, but further listens reveal a good average song for this band. The set concludes with the 38-minute epic "A Day in the Planet Orange," a suite that is actually a hodgepodge of ideas. The band bounces around from free-form improv to fast-action prog riffing, telephone conversations, and slow-paced post-rock-ish themes. Form-wise, the piece is not that conclusive (it suffers no comparison to the coherence of "Concrete City Breakdown"), but it sure has a high entertainment value, with a fair balance of exciting and puzzling moments. Green Milk from the Planet Orange is not the Japanese freak-out band you might be expecting (there is a lot of order ruling their chaos), but in the light of this opus, they are edging in that direction.

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