Green Milk from the Planet Orange – The Shape of Rock to Come EP

Green Milk from the Planet Orange
The Shape of Rock to Come EP

The list of influences for this three-piece Tokyo band gives some interesting insight into the music you might expect on these two songs that make up the band’s demo. The bass player cites Miles Davis, the Bill Evans Trio, and Herbie Hancock among others, while the drummer leans more toward Shellac, King Crimson, and Slayer and the guitarist cites Jimi Hendrix, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Stone Roses. Oddly enough, all of those influences can be heard in these two experimental rock songs.
The Shape of Rock to Come? Perhaps, and perhaps three guys with a lot of talent just recording an intriguing jam session. You can be the judge, but there’s no doubting that
The opener, “In the Space, Far Away from This Planet,” is 19 minutes of sonic squalls, furious blasts of percussion, distortion-laden guitar, and great periods of silence, all intermingling in what sounds like a stripped-down Sonic Youth getting artsy. That’s quite a compliment, really, because what Sonic Youth was doing in the early 80’s, trying to get new sounds from their guitars while experimenting with both noise and silence, Green Milk from the Planet Orange are doing today, only the electronics on hand are more advanced, and the band’s bare-bones aesthetic might be a bit more immediately aurally pleasing. The subtleties of this song – with low bass and soft guitar, whispered vocals over top, make this a more laid-back and experimental piece than its successor.
“Switch On” is the much more accessible piece. Starting off with some nice post-rock melodic guitar and intricate drumming, it has a mellow, peaceful feel, intermingling guitar and bass over drums for a low-toned Shellac feel. The vocals remind me of Jad Fair, almost spoken softly (in English, I believe) over the chiming guitar lines. It picks up, though, about the six-minute mark, with wailing guitar and almost shouted vocals. The whole thing finishes in a fury of guitars and distorted vocals, up-tempo and energetic, and frankly quite cool.
Clearly, Green Milk from the Planet Orange is trying to do the experimental rock thing that made King Crimson so innovative yet often hard to take decades ago. At times it works quite well, and at others you think at least half of their lengthy songs can be cut out. But people called Sonic Youth discordant noise at their beginning too. I expect many good things from this band, who is eagerly looking for label support.