Monday, January 6, 2014

Music Review: Various Artists - 'Punk Goes Christmas'

This is not your father's anarchic punk Christmas..The punks in the new holiday compilation from Fearless Records, Punk Goes Christmas ,are a gentle lot content on cuddling warm embraces under the mistletoe and marveling over Santa's solid gold Cadillac. These punks are tame mainstream rockers with holiday songs more indebted to Brenda Lee than The Sex Pistols.

William Beckett's "Do You Hear What I Hear?" is so void of irony, so traditional, you might as well be listening to Catholic mass. Even Alvin and The Chipmunks probably have a more sparkling rendition of this holiday chestnut.

There are more familiar punk leanings on Man Overboard's snotty "Father Christmas" with a jagged garage guitar backing up a leftist sentiment of an unfair Santa who gives "all the toys to the little rich boys". The song is all about rolling Santa for his money and is about as radical as this music gets.

Issues' "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" (no shortage of uninspired song titles) is catchy radio fare with an aggressive metal vocal grunt merging with a squeaky clean pop vocal track. It's a delectable blend of Top 40 kiddie pop with just a sprinkle of holiday sentiment.

Set It Off's "This Christmas (I'll Burn It To The Ground)" sounds more Halloween than Christmas. It offers a traditional "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" morphing into a Gothic dripping Christmas rampage concerning a can of gasoline. Not only does Grandma get run over by a reindeer, she is  burned alive at the stake.

But mostly these are tame radio friendly songs your Grandmother might tap her foot along to. New Found Glory's "Nothing For Christmas" is an acoustic-strumming, folksy love song about wanting nothing for Christmas because "I got what I needed ... it's you".  The Summer Sets' "This Christmas" is a slick and danceable glitter ball of kiddie techno culture. That is as fine as Top 40 radio gets.

But is this punk? Absolutely not. But it is is a most agreeable grab bag of Christmas candy. These young punks still believe in Santa Claus.

this review was first published at