It’s perhaps a small miracle it has taken Bad Religion so long to come up with an official Christmas release. Masters of the harmonious oohs and aahs, seasonal sing-a-longs should be right up their proverbial alley, after all. Of course, there are a number of old (bootleg) recordings of the American punk rock institute burning their fingers on festive evergreens, but 2013 marks the year Graffin, Gurewitz et al release their first real Christmas EP.
Have a gander at the list of tracks below and be prepared for what’s on offer here, then. In a mere, but appropriately punk, nineteen minutes, Bad Religion blast through eight classic carols and a remix of Recipe for Hate’s American Jesus. Now, if there’s anything you can (or perhaps even should) say about Christmas Songs, it’s that there is nothing exceptional going on here, and damn it, it should not be taken too bloody seriously, as some outlets here and there have apparently been doing.
What Christmas Songs does really, really well, however, is Bad Religion-ise seven classic Christmas songs. Here you will find a band that knows what it’s good at, and you’d be hard pressed not to grin your way throughout appropriately punked up versions of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, a punchy version of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing or the spiced up What Child is This? This is not a record to take very seriously, and it’s apparent throughout the EP that the guys are having a lot of fun here. More importantly, perhaps, is that the songs work brilliantly in a Bad Religion jacket. They’re catchy (of course they are!), and the way they tune into the band’s penchant for memorable tunes and properly harmonious backing vocals is almost eerie.
I personally could do with a few more of these. Christmas Songs is above all a lot of fun and a pleasantly amplified way of getting into the spirit of the holidays. Highly recommended, if only for a heartfelt laugh or two.
Happy Christmas, everybody.
- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (1:59)
- O Come All Ye Faithful (2:04)
- O come, O come, Emmanuel (2:07)
- White Christmas (1:49)
- Little Drummer Boy (2:04)
- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (1:39)
- What Child Is This? (1:53)
- Angels We Have Heard on High (2:07)
- American Jesus (Andy Wallace mix) (3:19)
- Greg Graffin – lead vocals, piano, synthesizer, acoustic guitar
- Brett Gurewitz – guitar, backing vocalsMike Dimkich – guitar, backing vocals
- Jay Bentley – bass, backing vocals
- Brian Baker – lead guitar, percussion, backing vocals
- Brooks Wackerman – drums, percussion