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Review: Punk Goes Christmas (Album)

Punk Goes Christmas is finally here! See what we think of it.

Artist: Various
Release: Punk Goes Christmas
Release Date: Out Now

The Punk Goes… series has now been running for 13 years, but this is the first festive release. As it’s a compilation album, I figure the easiest thing to do is take you through song by song.

The first track is by one of the biggest modern punk bands, New Found Glory. They have taken an acoustic approach in the form of song ‘Nothing For Christmas‘, it has a nice romantic notion, saying that they don’t need anything Christmas because ‘I got what I needed, it’s you’. Behind the acoustic guitars and vocals is the constant jingle of bells, giving it that traditional Christmassy feel.

The next song seems to simultaneously pick up and get a little more depressing in the form of ‘Fool’s Holiday’ by All Time Low. The opening has a festive feel with ringing bells, and then the upbeat and punk-ish sound comes in. The lyrics aren’t quite as sweet as the last, suggesting that there is a broken relationship that needs to be fixed, but put that aside, it sounds like a nice cheery holiday song.

Next we get Real Friends’ offering of ‘I Had A Heart‘. So far, this is the least festive sounding song on the compilation, taking us back to basics with an acoustic sound. If you’ve ever had your heart broken at Christmas, or you’re on your own for the holidays, stick this on and feel a little less alone.

Man Overboard have contributed a great Christmas song turned punk. ‘Father Christmas’ is lyrically most like the songs you would most likely normally listen to at Christmas, but with fast drums and punk guitars. You could probably mosh around the Christmas tree if you really wanted to.

We stay cheerful with The Summer Set’s ‘This Christmas’. There are some electronic sounds thrown in to this one, sounding more like a modern Christmas song. Although it does have that pop-punk sound, there is something about the vocals in the chorus that you can still imagine roasting chestnuts round the fire with your family to.

Crown The Empire add an ethereal sound with their track ‘There Will Be No Christmas’. The mood drops again here, as a piano makes its first appearance on the album. If you were to see this song live, it would be the one where everybody waved their lighters (or phones) in the air, that’s the kind of mood it creates.

The next track is ‘Christmas Lights’ by Yellowcard. It starts off in a similar vein to the previous track, quite mellow, but slowly picks up. By the second half we really hear the bands own sound come out, including that violin which makes Yellowcard stand out against others in their genre.

Piano pops up again, but in a very jaunty way this time, in the introduction to ‘Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays’ by Issues. This song combines rock and Christmas the best with vocals that sound quite traditionally Christmas, but scratchy guitars and even some screaming. If you’re looking for a heavier Christmas track that still truly gets you in the mood, look no further.

Jason Lancaster has slowed things down significantly with ‘All I Can Give You’. The slow piano and emotional vocals continue throughout the whole song and while it’s a lovely song, it’s maybe not the best one to listen to while drinking mulled wine and trying to get into the Christmas spirit.

I Don’t Wanna Spend Another Christmas Without You’ is The Ready Set’s contribution to the collection. This is potentially the most Christmassy sounding song on here, with bells and a xylophone adding a festive feel. The lyrics are similar to plenty of others out there, wishing for that one special person to spend the holidays with.

The penultimate track opens with an old style recording of ‘Deck The Halls’ before Set It Off kick in with their somewhat sinister ‘This Christmas (I’ll Burn It To The Ground)’. The title pretty much sums up the overall mood of the song, although the band have included those traditional bells we’ve heard so many times on ‘Punk Goes Christmas’ already.

Rounding off the album is William Beckett with ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’. If you are a fan of his, you won’t be disappointed as he holds onto his distinctive sound. This is also a nice final track, feeling a lot more festive than the previous track. This is the only track that takes acknowledges the religious aspect of the holiday too, so it will keep any Christians complaining about your music happy.

While this collection may not be quite like the traditional ‘White Christmas’-esque songs most people bust out during this season, any pop-punk fan should probably have this on while hanging baubles on the Christmas tree and the mix in acoustic and punk will probably keep most of the family happy.

8/10

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