There’s no Christmas like a Punk Rock Christmas, and no better way to celebrate that holiday than with this collection of traditional songs set to a Gabba Gabba Hey back beat. “Angels We Have Heard On High” might fake you out: it opens with the band singing a reasonable acapella version of this old hymn, but after 30 seconds the fake out ends with a blasting 4/4 time guitar and drum thrash out. There are 9 zippy tracks here and all but one began life on a “Greatest Holiday Hits Album.” “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “O Come, O come Emanuel” all will wilt your Sunday school teacher’s ears: while Baby Jesus never specifically calls out loud music as a sin, this cut might make him reconsider.
Their “White Christmas” puts Bowie and Crosby to shame and “Little Drummer Boy” seems ready to enter the War Against Christmas on whatever side will pay the best. This whole collection is a sharp and tasty counterpoint to the pap you’re already sick of hearing at the mall and in the car. There’s one odd ball track here, “American Jesus.” It offers the social commentary that you’d expect from Greg Graffin and the boys. You know they couldn’t do a project like this without some dig at organized religion, but it’s remixed to blend in to the background and if mom listens all the way to the end, she might not even register what’s sung. Happy head banging holiday, my friend, and see what you can do to slide this into the holiday mix at dinner time.