Like DMBQ, an experimental Tokyo band that recently played in Missoula, Green Milk from the Planet Orange is part of a new crop of Japanese rockers who have taken the elusively-defined progressive rock genre and attempted to modernize it from its 1960s and 1970s origins. The earlier so-called “prog” bands, such as Genesis, Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull, had very little in common with one another other than long compositions running upward of 20 minutes, unusual time signatures and the incorporation of classical or jazz elements. GMFTPO—comprised of singer/guitarist “Dead K,” drummer/keyboardist “A” and bassist/whistler “T” (they don’t supply alternate names)—falls into some of these classifications, most notably long compositions with wide dynamic range (“A Day in the Planet Orange,” for example, is 38 minutes) and an unusual vocal style. What differentiates GMFTPO from original prog-rock is that the band tends to sharpen its psychedelia with punk rock and industrial flavors. Dead K, for instance, is a chaotic singer who at times evokes dirty-rock sex appeal, at others channeling the hushed, insidious whisper of Marilyn Manson.
With a new album released earlier this year bearing the radically flavored title City Calls Revolution, it’s no surprise that GMFTPO considers themselves more than just a band, but standard-bearers of a music movement. In fact, the band’s motto is “Progressive rock is not dead,” and its addendum claim to posterity is “This is the new wave of progressive rock.” Currently on a tour across the United States, the self-proclaimed revivalists appear to be on a quest to introduce what they say is the wave of the future. Whether GMFTPO is prog’s new generation is yet to be determined, but they are indicative of a Japanese experimental trend to which Missoula promoters and concertgoers seem committed.
Green Milk from the Planet Orange plays the Elk’s Lodge Sunday, Oct. 16, at 8 PM. Wolf Eyes opens. Cover TBA.