Colleen Green - Colleen Green [EP] (Cover Artwork)

Colleen Green

Colleen Green [EP] (2016)

Infinity Cat Recordings

Colleen Green reminds me of a moment on The Simpsons’ rock-centric, generational colliding episode “Homerpalooza.” Bart and Lisa act as the gatekeepers to all that is cool, as Homer ponders, “Maybe if you're truly cool, you don't need to be told you're cool.” And he is quickly corrected by his children, “Well, sure you do… How else would you know?” Colleen Green is how you know. Her music makes angst cool. Not in the teenage sense, and not politically, either, which seem to be popular everywhere else. But the cool derives from uncertainty for the late 20s, early 30s crowd that, by all accounts, “should” have things figured out by now. Is the weight of the world too depressing to take? Yes. Financial burden ruining your fun? Absolutely. Interactions with others unbearable? You are speaking my language.

Coming off of her 2015 stoner-pop-punk gem I Want to Grow Up, Colleen Green brings us a self-titled EP, right before summer 2016 starts, this time amping up the Ramonescore. But much more subdued. Especially noticeable in the first half of the release, “U Coulda Been An A” gives off an “I Wanna Be Well” vibe, if that “well” meant toasted. Nicely toasted. Pleasant echo and vocal doubling keep the track company, as lamenting rolls on. “Cold Shoulder” contains blatant “Blitzkrieg Bop” riffing; catchy, beachy, singalong lines, like “Please don’t give me a cold shoulder, seasons change and I get older,” show how well the EP emphasizes constant change among peers, many people coming and going. But you’re still there. Cool, of course.

The back end of this self-titled work picks up intensity and grit, as much that is allowed while remaining totally chill. Whispers of sweet, pop punk nothings flow through “Here it Comes,” as much welcomed oh-oh-ohs start to appear. Riding a more confrontational attitude, “Between the Lines” coasts through the anger of wasting time on others’ nonsense, while howling some dank-infused ah-oohs. The ability to slow down traditionally rapid music to suit her own style conveys a confidence of reducing the outside world’s pace down to a speed one can personally deal with. Everything is out of control, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be under control, and that’s cool.

Turns out we are allowed to enjoy ourselves while trying to figure life out. Even when it feels like you’re taking a walloping from the universe, Colleen Green is there to make it cool. There is an ease created by her music, frustration mends with calmness, the pop-punk strumming settles down a tick to stick with a stoner-pop delivery. It all fits. Colleen Green is the kind of cool we need to remind ourselves to slow things down in the chaos, even if it seems weird and scary to us.