BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Formerly considered a lost album in the Green Pajamas’ catalog, November was recorded live in the studio in 1987 with the intent to capture a portion of the PJs catalog that had never been otherwise recorded. Released only on cassette in 1988, the recordings were remixed by Jack Endino and bassist Joe Ross ten years later, but never used until now. Given the profligacy of the Seattle psych rockers’ lead songwriter Jeff Kelly, augmented here by then-PJs Steven Lawrence and Bruce Haedt, it’s no surprise that enough songs from the band’s ‘80s era exist to fill out another record.
Most of these tunes rock harder than the PJs’ norm at the time; the stripped-down presentation here gives them extra urgency and verve. “Mary Magdalene,” “Susanne,” “Far Away” and “Strange City Days” burn with rock & roll fire in a way PJs fans might be surprised by. “Dance Away,” “Stephanie Barber” and “The Sickness Lovers Despise” emphasize pop over rock but still shiver with the same energy. Of course, examples of the band’s midtempo acid folk rock make appearances as well – “Pony and Me” and “Just Like Seeing God” will set rods a-twirl in a most familiar way. After a glistening run through the band’s eponymous pop tune, the record ends with a brief, vulgar take on “Michael Row the Boat” that sounds as if Kelly was completely knackered by that point. As puzzling as that is, it’s not enough to throw cold water on what was obviously a hot party.
DOWNLOAD: “Just Like Seeing God,” “I Wish That It Was Christmas,” “Far Away”