November Group ‎– November Group

Modern Method Records ‎– MM 015
Vinyl, LP, Album


A1 Shake It Off 4:10
A2 Flatland 2:52
A3 Pictures Of The Homeland 3:42
B1 We Dance 4:20
B2 The Popular Front 4:34

Companies, etc.



℗&© November Group Music (ASCAP)

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Run-out area A-side [hand-etched]): MM-015-A F/W TC
  • Matrix / Runout (Run-out area B-side [hand-etched]): MM-015-B
  • Matrix / Runout (Run-out area both sides [hand-etched]): HUB

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May 28, 2016
edited over 2 years ago

The opening track, “Shake It Off,” was an infectious slice of New Wave synth-funk, with Kearney Kirby getting very expressive on the Moog Bass with neat open chords from Ann Prim on guitar. The rhythm section were hot and the recording was very appealingly balanced and mixed. It sounded like a good eight track studio was used for the recording. The insistent number sported powerful, vocals from Ms. Prim. It sort of sounded like a femme-led DEVO cut from the same period cross pollinated with maybe Rick James? Great dancefloor material and I loved how Ms. Prim interjected three fast exhortations of “shakeitoff/shakeitoff/shakeitoff” like a toaster would on a ska cut; which this otherwise resembled in no way at all.

The pressure got turned a notch higher for “Flatland” with rhythmic interjections of a slow-burning synth riff at half or less of the fast-paced song’s tempo. The massed backing vocal chant of “Hey!” also gave this a hard feel that reminded me of a more melodic Nitzer Ebb. “Pictures Of The Homeland” had a lighter touch while retaining the urgency of all of the cuts on side one. The language of the lyrics touched on delightful harsh Germanic imagery. Knowing that the band decamped to Germany for their A+M EP in 1985, at least they managed to live up to their pretensions.

Side two began with the anthemic “We Dance” and the clean, clinical synths were matched by the vocals and lyrics of Ms. Prim. As with all of this music, the synth predominated while the conventional rhythm section grounded it in rock, even as it had as much to do with disco/funk. The pulsating synths were matched by drum fills every few bars for a propulsive vibe until the startling ending.

Guitar finally came to the fore on “The Popular Front” with snarling, if simple leads set against fast and funky slap bass [a few years ahead of the curve] and the rising synths that held down swelling chords as the whole thing sped like a getaway car. The lyrics here were multi lingual and almost a manifesto of the modern era hurtling toward us back then. The morse code synths kept the nervous tension heightened for the whole song. This was a strong ending to a strong EP that I really should have encountered when it came out in 1982. I would have loved it then, but this is exactly the sort of thing that I am seeking to re-investigate decades later. The juxtaposition of cold, almost harsh, vocals and sensual, driving synth rock is musical catnip to my ears, and against the current musical climate, driving songs like these have even greater currency with me today