The Green Pajamas
21st Century Seance
Throughout their 20+ year run, The Green Pajamas haven’t ever really attained A-list stature, despite a heady back catalog of above-average releases. Something about the band’s astral plane psychedelica just hasn’t resonated enough with the populace to give them that final push toward elevation. Unfortunately, 21st Century Seance isn’t likely to do the trick either. Head pajama, Jeff Kelly, and his cohorts have their ’90s indie rock chops honed to perfection, swerving from shoegaze textural waves to vague ’80s electro, and all the space in between — they even pull off a satanic mass-style “Undone (Sweater Song)” with “The Black Guitar.” Though the band often opts for noise and rock, they sound steadier when they get quiet and reflective. The smoothness of tracks like “Gazelle” and “Alibi” upstage the more grandiose attempts by a wide margin. When the two halves of the band’s songwriting personality coalesce on the closer “Mostly Alice,” it’s magic.
The real millstone around this disc’s neck, though, are the lyrics and vocals. The lack of gravitas in Kelly’s voice and the occasionally borderline inane couplets he strings together are far more 13 Ghosts‘s than Poltergeist. It’s an album for the potential victims at the Halloween Party, not the killer.