Let me clear this up, this is not a rock and roll holiday album, and these are not rock and roll bands. I just liked the title. I wouldn’t lie to you.
Anyway, released on Nov. 4, 2013 by Fearless Records and Shock Entertainment, “Punk Goes Christmas” is the fourteenth compilation album in the “Punk Goes…” series, preceded by “Punk Goes Pop 5.”
It features bands like New Found Glory, All Time Low, The Ready Set, and – two of my personal favorites – Crown the Empire, and Set It Off.
As implied by the title, these bands perform Christmas songs, five being covers and seven being original songs.
Unlike typical “Punk Goes…” albums, this album is quite tame, trading heavy and growling vocals, screams, and aggressive instrumentals for clean vocals and calmer instrumentals; Set It Off being a notable exception with their song “This Christmas (I’ll Burn It To The Ground),” a Grinch inspired song.
Nu-metal artist Crown the Empire (my favorite), for example, keeps it light with clean vocals, string instruments, and echoing percussion.
For those more interested in the covers on this album, Man Overboard performs a cover of “Father Christmas” by The Kinks, The Summer Set performs “This Christmas” originally by Donny Summer, Yellowcard, arguably one of the better known artists on this album next to New Found Glory and All Time Low, performs “Christmas Lights” by Coldplay, Issues (another band I really like off this album) performs “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by ‘N Sync (straight outta the 90’s), and William Beckett performs the most classic song on the album: “Do You Hear What I Hear?” by The Harry Simeone Chorale.
While these covers are present, the originals songs should not be ignored. Set It Off’s song, as mentioned above, is a very fun, more hardcore song with a humorously pessimistic view of the holiday. Crown the Empire’s original is an emotional track about losing love near Christmas, and then not feeling like it’s even a holiday anymore. All Time Low does a good job with their song “Fool’s Holiday,” talking about being a bad guy, but being a nicer guy for the holiday for the sake of love.
This album is definitely not for everyone, given that these bands are all known for their edgy, hardcore punk music (apart from New Found Glory, All Time Low, and The Summer Set), but for those who enjoy these bands, are interested in these bands, or enjoy the musical background they come from, then this album is worth a listen. Or just listen to it for the Christmas theme, which is kind of the point of the album.
“Punk Goes Christmas” can be streamed on Spotify, or purchased on iTunes or Amazon for $9.99. It gets an 8/10 from me. Give it a listen and see what you think.