Colleen Green – Casey’s Tape/Harmontown Loops (CD Review)
Album: Casey’s Tape/Harmontown Loops
Artist: Colleen Green
Sub-Genres: #IndieRock, #IndiePop
Label: Infinity Cat Recordings
Non-Airable Tracks: None!
Colleen Green, LA stoner pop queen and one of the few people who can get away with wearing sunglasses indoors, recently put out the LP ‘Casey’s Tape/Harmontown Loops’ via Infinity Cat Recordings on September 7th, 2018. This release includes five songs from her 2016 self-titled EP (Cold Shoulder, Green My Eyes, Disco, Here It Comes, and U Coulda Been an A), and four new tracks.
Before I even talk about the music, let’s check out this cover art from illustrator Sam Cardelfe. The flaming speakers, all the shenanigans going on in the audience, and (presumably?) Green presiding over the cute cartoon-y chaos – it looks like a pretty good time.
The same could be said for this album – Colleen Green has always been great at making fun, catchy, and enjoyable music. This album (both the new material and the songs from her self-titled EP), described as “Ramones-core” by Green, keeps to this while continuing on the expansion and exploration of her sound seen on 2015’s ‘I Want to Grow Up’. The music is equal parts upbeat, summery, and candy-coated sweet and gritty, crunchy, with a grungy/punk edge. Green writes great riffs, catchy melodies, and ear-worm hooks and choruses that are grounded with self-awareness and emotional honesty. While her songwriting often veers on the witty and humorous side, it spans a wide range of themes and feelings, spanning from the lighter sides of things, like love and just having a good time, to the heavier end, with musings on isolation, rejection, insecurity, and anxiety (often juxtaposed by the musical context of a catchy, upbeat-sound, but not always, such as in the song “Deeper than Love”, a personal highlight off her 2015 release), all through her straight-forward and incisive personal lens. Green is relatable, honest, and refreshing in her music – so, while this is definitely a catchy, fun, and enjoyable record, it’s definitely not shallow or lacking substance.
Musically, this album shows progression as well. Most of Green’s output is fairly stripped back instrumentation and structure-wise, often featuring only a guitar, a drum machine, and vocals. Most of the music on this release stays true to these roots. Some of the tracks might veer a bit on the repetitive side in terms of structure and overall album pacing (especially with the drums), but not enough to deter from the overall scheme of things. But, we also see a good amount of expansion from her prior releases and general sound. The track “Lighter”, an interlude or transition between songs from her 2016 release and the new material on this LP, is an all-instrumental track showcasing some rad riffs and guitar shreddin’. Green also continues down the path from her 2015 album of including synths and keyboards in her music – this shines on the track “I Wanna Be Ignored” (a personal highlight for me), creating a lush, dreamy, space-y soundscape. Of course, there are plenty of punchy, sweet yet gritty, guitar-driven bops here too, with the high-energy, catchy “Let Go” closing out the album.
Overall, this is an enjoyable release. Colleen Green delivers catchy, poppy songs with the bite, grit, and wit that she’s known for – this album is fun, doesn’t take itself too seriously, but has depth and packs a punch.
Sounds Like: Chastity Belt, The Aquadolls, The Courtneys
I Wanna Be Ignored
Green My Eyes
Reviewer’s Name: Gabrielle Spickard
Date of Review: 10/03/2018