Oakland's premiere stoner garage darling Colleen Green's full length is here with the Descendents and NWA album title mash up, Milo Goes to Compton. Originally released last year on cassette in quantities limited to about 50, Colleen continues to keep the trees blazing like the dream scuzz heard on the EPs 4 Loko 2 Kayla and last year's Cujo. Milo finds Ms. Green doing great things with minimal arrangements with maximum appeal, gritty guitar and a big heart.
Speaking of The Descendents, Green gets the party started with a cover of “Good Good Things” that rides a baseline as the album's fog machine of fuzz commences. She beckons you to listen with her urgency of “so come on over and tell me I’m your girl” rekindling your appreciation of the old punk guard and riot grrls at the same time. Then you are treated to a complete overhaul rework of the Ramones standard with a bit of girl power with a purple kush smirk on “I Want to Be Degraded.” While running wild with the loose frame work of “I Wanna be Sedated,” “Degraded” takes on a new life of disassociated objectification. Like the Osterberg refrain of “Now I wanna be your dog,” Green here plays on traditional gender roles and a possible nod to the blissful degraded sound of the record that rejects the status quo of that fancy studio sparkle.
With all of Colleen’s fascinations of punk, tough Compton-by-way-of-Oaksterdam spirit; an undercurrent of desire and yearning permeates the record like the strange sounds that run beneath the production on the closer “The Day I Fell in Love with You.” Her passion is further displayed on “I Want (A Nice Boy)”with “I want a nice boy, to spend some quiet time, I want to take you home and treat you right” which could be cheesy from the face value offset but is performed like the indie girlfriend of your dreams. Colleen displays this dedication towards this mystery boyfriend with the catchy yet grinding stoner rock tribute to Lee Peggy March with “I Will Follow Him.” Not only does this sludgy update break the album’s 5 minute barrier but there is also an inherent dance quality by virtue of the drum machine and droning guitar grumbles that murmur throughout tracks like “Always on My Mind.” Even “Worship You” could translate well in the remixing hands of anyone on the rosters from Lefse, RVNG Intl, Ghostly, Captured Tracks and Strut.
Over the 8-track course of punk/boys/weed/relationship idolatries, Milo Goes to Compton delivers an exercise in punk concision. The music snob who is never satisfied might wish this wide release featured outtakes, one of Green's great live performances, b-sides, shwag and the like. Some detractors will hate on the lo-fidelity qualities for reasons pertaining to the bias that developed with critics tiring of the fuzzbox laden 2009 year that saw the floodgates rise and a thousand bedroom rockers spawned. Those who like their indie artists to sound well polished should listen to the new albums from Frankie Rose and Nite Jewel.
Foregoing the trappings of the Dum Dum-Bethany Coast-Vivian gurl wave for something personal and trill; Collen presents a vulnerable honesty while still keeping based life Bay area values intact and paying homage to the forefathers in a way that wouldn't work for many without coming off as Me First and the Gimme Gimmes cover-tribute novelty. It should be noted that Colleen Green is the real deal from the cover art where she has her own Milo Auckerman caricature to the album’s concise yet varied approach to rock minimalism and lyrical complexity ranging from free-wheeling to sentimental. For the rest of us that did not get an exclusive copy of Milo the first time around; Art Fag is doing their damnedest to bring Colleen's vision to the love sick girls and boys that need some encouragement to pick up some second hand instruments and make a love-letter-rock racket of their own.