Green Milk From the Planet Orange
You Take Me to the World
In a recent review — Hotel Alexis’ Goliath, I’m on Your Side — I took that band to task for its unwieldy and pretentious forays into experimental music on what ostensibly was a folk record. To take that bitter, unfulfilling taste out of my mouth, I’ve chosen Green Mile From the Planet Orange as a chaser and now I’m seeing stars.
You Take Me to the World illustrates perfectly that often overlooked fact that there needs to be a substantial amount of skill involved when making a good “weird” record. This outfit from Tokyo, Japan has been evolving into a unique monster of prog/metal/punk/psych over the past few years, with each release seemingly reaching an absurd plateau only get a little more mad with their subsequent album. “KillMeKillMeKillMe” is perhaps the most compelling and humorous track the band has written. It features a veritable assault on the vocals by an aggressive free-jazz rhythm section. Singer/guitarist Dead K kicks of the track with some casual whistling while the bass and drums gather forces and “attack” the axe-less singer from all angles, sending him into blubbering hysterics, begging and pleading for a respite. Eventually all the sounds fall into an arrhythmic groove, as though a tenuous accord has been reached while each party is too leery of the other to come together to make for a pleasant listening experience. Transcending the standard definition of a song, the track is almost a musical without the visuals or coherent lyrics.
“Away,” clocking in at over 24 minutes, fills out the rest of the disc. Not nearly as blisteringly epic as the material that made up City Calls Revolution, it hits more high/low dynamics than that album’s near constant apocalyptic thunder. Intermittent space-rock echoes usher the track in while Dead K mutters spoken word lyrics in some unknown language — not the band’s usual Japanese/English duality. There are some beautiful moments of chilly astral sounds that cut through the thick silence when K’s rant momentarily stops. About ten minutes into the song, with very little forewarning, the drums, bass and guitar form a cohesive unit for the first time on this album and the hypnotic drone they immediately produce is glorious, but pales in the shadow of the heavy psychedelic supernova that burns through the song’s last seven minutes, carbonizing everything in its wake and coolly regarding the destruction it just wrought.
So, to sum up, World goes from a slapstick skit/commentary on inter-band relationships to sonically destroying all known life in the universe. New plateau? Reached.
Beta-lactam Ring Records: www.blrrecords.com