Hardly Art (label)
14 September 2021 (released)
14 September 2021
1. of or at a fairly low temperature.
2. showing no friendliness towards a person or enthusiasm for an idea or project.
3. calmness; composure
4. become or make less hot.
Returning after a five-year absence (the self-described ‘quarter-life crisis’ in and outpourings of ‘I want to grow up’) Los Angeleno Colleen Green returns on hardening, snarling, sparkling form.
At times subtly channelling the utterly wondrous melodies and wide-screen observations of such ‘shehemoths’ as Belly, Julianna Hatfield, Kristen Hersh and Voice of the Beehive, Green nevertheless stamps her own authority, defiantly leaving perma-traces of middle-finger and sizeable footprints across the album.
On the Gordon Raphael (The Strokes) crisply-produced ‘Cool’ Green offers biting (but, never bitter) bubblegum rock, a soft veneer with a hard centre. Be it majestically masticating on premediated pontificating or alleviating the onus on ejaculation ("before/after you ...") , or whether sarcastically signposting the ins and outs of a situation, the through doors and exits, posing questions and providing punchy answers, the gloves are off as Green is resolutely breaking free from the shackles of a sour union, pointing out and outlining the many faults of the culpable, and then spitting out the now flavourless gum. Literally and metaphorically, of course.
Kicking off with ‘Someone Else’, the track has the dismissive, despatching detachment of Viv Albertine, the boot’s now on the other foot, the winning cards all held firmly now by the eventual victor. If played right.
If The Stooges wanted to be ‘your’ dog, to be tongue-waggingly servile and held tightly on a leash then Green’s philosophical paean to the life of a canine is more sedate and envious, a dog’s life something to cherish. The road as a path to take, to travel, unravel, a route to adhere to (if desired) informs the call-and-response of ‘Highway’.
The meditative, metronomic, motorik beat (c.f. Can, Neu, Cluster et al) has become a standard trope nowadays, many a lazy appropriation seeking to up-tempo a bog-average down-at-heel song. However, ‘Natural Chorus’ is a superior specimen, high-five sci-fi sonics set to a story of resonance and (en)trance-dance.
‘It’s nice to be nice is’ a karmic new-wave machine, its simplistic surface message belying the deep undercurrent that benevolence can provide. To each and everyone.
They say a change is as good as a rest and in Colleen Green’s case that’s nailed on. Cool, calm, collected and in complete control.