Green Milk from the Planet Orange – Birth of the Neo Trip

Green Milk from the Planet Orange
Birth of the Neo Trip

It must be hard to be an independent band trying to find their target audience in a different country. The three diverse musicians who make up Green Milk from the Planet Orange, a stoner-rock experimental indie-jam band of sorts from Tokyo, Japan, clearly think the US is their target marketplace, and they’re almost certainly right. The US is ready for this stuff, if you don’t mind a full-length CD of just three songs that cover every gambit from jazz to prog-rock to stoner-rock to indie-rock (and a few other things thrown in).
Any real description of GMFTPO is pretty meaningless, because these three musicians blend genres effortlessly. With influences including everything from Miles Davis to Pink Floyd, Stereolab to King Crimson, Black Sabbath to Sun Ra and Jimi Hendrix, you can honestly feel bits of all of those bands here. Imagine the 70s prog-rockers working in the 90s without being muddled down in pretentiousness. Leaps and bounds ahead of their noisy experimental debut EP, Birth of the Neo Trip is much more firmly based in jazzy rock with psychedelic leanings. And it’s a beautiful thing.
The horns that grace the opening, “When Every Colour Turns Black,” drifting effortlessly over a deep, rolling drum beat, are the perfect mood setter, creating an almost Middle Eastern vibe. It wanes to almost nothing and takes off on a vibrant, mathy romp, riding a stellar bassline and jangly guitars that get sort of improvisational and jammy. Much shorter, “Sweet 5 A.M.” is soft and mellow, with reverberating guitar licks and hushed, almost whispered vocals. It leads nicely into the 26-minute closer, “Ground Lyrics,” also the album’s most experimental piece. It’s a rambling work, at times with clunking piano chiming over rolling drums, at times with flowing guitar and then periods of silence. It’s a bit disconcerting and nowhere near as trippy as the previous two tunes, but it does show a more electronic, more off-beat approach, although by the ending it settles into a subtle, spacey, low-key groove that’s quite cool.
It’s futile to try to describe the music of Green Milk from the Planet Orange, and that’s what’s so good about it. Their last release was noisier and more abrasive, while this one if more trippy and stoner-rock, and both work extremely well. This new direction is better, in my mind, as the band demonstrates their impeccable talent and forward-thinking nature. Two self-released CDs, two fantastic efforts, and more, no doubt, to come.