Yes it's finally here - the third part of The Green Pajamas' Northern Gothic trilogy, with arts one and two having come out in 2002 and 2007 respectively.
As with those two initial volumes, this album is of songs inspired by the band's childhood and the landscapes and west coast of America. Having heard part three of the trilogy I will now have to hunt out parts one and two!
The opening Lisa Lou is a wonderful song of loss for a love that sometimes happened and sometimes didn't with some glorious guitar work as he wonders about the woman who sometimes loved for Money but Loved the boy for free in the trailer park.
Long Black Shadow sounds like an old Guitar Shorty song re-worked with Laura Walker's vocals sounding a bit like Grace Slick's. It's a dark tale of tranquilizers and sinning and the punishment unfolds as we wait for that killer blues guitar to try to sooth her troubles away.
Paulina is a love letter to an abandoned Ranchero left to rot in a yard for years on end after the woman he wooed and married while cruising in the car left him for another man with a better car no doubt. I love the slowly swelling strings and piano parts, both of which help to bring the emotions in the song out. Well she'll only go back to you after hearing this if she really likes sweeping desert blues with a bit of a Zuma feel to them.
Cognac is a rather sad tale of suicidal despair brought about partly because that cognac is Canadian, among the other things sending her over the edge of this barely-there, wonderfully stripped back ode. Red Bird is a slightly askew love song that is almost a lament and really rather redolent and forlorn as he yearns to hear her play her violin again before kissing her.
Ana (All The Way Down) is about why Ana left and the train she took to get away from it all. Also, how the bloke she left behind slowly falls into the pit of depression and booze. This is all accompanied by some cool guitar and a stray egg shaker.
Monica Talks To Angels is about a girl who is just strange enough to be talking to angels (or herself) while walking back from school alone. She sounds like the sort of girl I'd have wanted to talk to as a kid, actually. It also features a wonderful guitar freak out in the middle.
No Way Outta This is a tale of desperation and love and lust about a situation you can't get out of that reminds me a good bit of The Lucky Strikes' The Butcher and Mrs Shaw. Amy's Gonna Take You Down is all Crazy Horse with the Grace Slick style vocals as we find out just what a piece of work Amy is and how she takes you down to the basement to get dirty and sin with you.
The Rosebergs is a tale of a family getting washed away by a tsunami and almost just disappearing in the waters, though the music is not as choppy as the water. The Shepard Well is a tale of gun crime in the mid-west that sounds a lot like a Green On Red song and it has that Gravity Kills kind of feel to a good part of it.
The album closes with Phantom Lake: a slow song of disappearing on Phantom Lake and trying to have a life rather than plunging into the waters and never coming back out again.
Go and buy this album even if like me you don't have volumes 1 and 2 of the Northern Gothic trilogy. A quite wonderful album from the legends that are The Green Pajamas.
Find out more at Green Money Records online