Spotlight: Green Milk From the Planet Orange
12:45am, Flamingo Cantina
Guitarist Dead K from Tokyo's Green Milk From the Planet Orange proudly calls his trio a progressive-rock band, but anyone expecting to hear Tales From Topographic Oceans is in for quite a shock. The hifalutin bloat once synonymous with prog is gone in favor of the adventurous spirit found in King Crimson, Soft Machine, and Can. GMFTPO stabs its chosen genre in the heart with a needle full of frenzy. Dead K and drummer A (he and bassist T are known by their initials) served time in Tokyo's grindcore scene before starting GMFTPO in 2001.
"I was already a prog-rock fan," says K. "I really wanted to add some factors from progressive rock on my former band's music, but I couldn't do it well, and the band was not tight to play that kind of music. But in this band, everybody was okay to play progressive rock!"
Even on songs approaching 40 minutes ("A Day in the Planet Orange," from 2005's City Calls Revolution), GMFTPO somehow captures the one-two-three-four intensity of a two-minute punk blast. K thinks T's 2003 arrival gave the band newfound volatility.
"We used play quietly, but we got the blood of grindcore returned into our music after the bassist changed to T," K says. "The blood of grindcore makes our prog rock stronger!"
Now signed to Portland, Ore.'s Beta-Lactam Ring label, GMFTPO is spreading this new wave of progressive rock coast to coast.
"It's very nice to do a tour here," observes K. "Gas is cheaper, roads are cheaper, and the clubs and people care about the bands."