THE GREEN PAJAMAS – Death By Misadventure (Green Monkey)

It suddenly occurred to me the other week that I hadn’t listened to anything by The Green Pajamas for a while and so a quick search of the net revealed that since I got their ‘Poison In The Russian Room’ album way back in 2009 they have not just been sitting back and twiddling their thumbs. It turns out I have a bit of catching up to do as they have released two studio albums, a compilation of rarities and an EP! A quick email to my favourite CD importer means that I now have these four dics to add to the collection. ‘Death By Misadventure’ is really the follow-up to ‘Poision…’, even through ‘Country!’ came inbetween, because as the title suggests, that is something of a diversion for the band. As is ‘Death By Misadventure’ really, as for the first time in their career the band have produced something of a concept album. Based around the life cycle of a bee colony, the first half – ‘The Fall Of The Queen Bee’ - opens with ‘You Can’t Look’. a classic GP rocker, and it is as if they have never been away. Jeff’s sublime vocals over a rollicking backing, and interspersed with backwards guitar, all make for a great start to the album. ‘Ring Around The Sun’ is a slower piece, with child-like backing vocals, and is over in a minute and three-quarters, leading straight into ‘The Universe Is Full Of Noise’, which is more upbeat and features some scuzzy guitar, but is over just as quickly as ‘Ring…’. ‘Sky Blue Balloon’ is a nice psyche-pop tune, and it is not until we get to ‘The Queen’s Last Tango’ that the concept really becomes clear. This is the Pajamas at their psychedelic best, with out-there lyrics, a psyche-infused gypsy tango of a tune, and a superb acid-guitar instrumental coda. ‘Silk’s Last Hour’ is a soulful ballad, while the waltz of ‘The Queen Bee Is Dead’ and the piano-led ‘Wrong Home’ bring this song-cycle to a close. The second half of the album is sub-titled ‘Cruel Dreams, Cruel Things’, and is a collection of unconnected songs, more in line with a normal Green Pajamas release. Of these ‘A Piece Of A Dream’ , ‘Beat Me Sally’ and ‘Christabel’ are stand-out tracks, although really there are no bad songs on here. It’s another superb album by the band, and I would expect nothing less.

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