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Stocking Stuffer

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Album Review

If you're planning on throwing a Christmas party with the emphasis on party, the Fleshtones have just dropped the album you've been waiting for — New York's once and future kings of Super Rock have finally made their first holiday record, and Stocking Stuffer is in the grand hip-shaking tradition of their best work, with Keith Streng, Peter Zaremba, and their partners in crime rocking the holiday season as it hasn't been rocked in years. Kicking off with a high-octane cover of "Hooray for Santa Claus" from the holiday semi-classic Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Stocking Stuffer includes a handful of lesser-known Christmas favorites, such as Rolf Harris' "Six White Boomers" (performed in the manner of AC/DC with Ross the Boss from the Dictators on lead guitar), "Mr. Santa Claus" (first waxed by Detroit R&B wildman Nathaniel Meyer), "You're All I Want for Christmas" (in an arrangement that takes it a long way from Brook Benton's version) and "Run Rudolph Run" (with the Fleshtones giving both Chuck Berry and Keith Richards a run for their money in sheer moxie). There are also some similarly raucous originals from the boys, and if "Super Rock Santa," "I Still Believe in Christmas," "Canadian Christmas," and "Christmas with Bazooka Joe" don't leap to the top of your Yuletide Hit Parade, then it's no wonder Hepcat Kringle keeps leaving coal in your stocking. Running a bit less than 27 minutes, Stocking Stuffer could stand to be a few tracks longer, but there's no arguing that the Fleshtones make every moment count on this seasonal shindig, and beneath the sweaty, beer-soaked action there's a genuine sense that these guys love Christmas for reasons other than the opportunity to throw a world-class bash. Break out the eggnog and crank it up — Stocking Stuffer will bring a whole lotta joy to your world.


Formed: 1976 in Queens, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Often tagged as garage rock revivalists, the Fleshtones mix the fuzz guitar and Farfisa organ sounds of that genre with rockabilly, '50s and '60s R&B, and surf into a potent retro stew the group likes to call "super rock." The group formed in 1976 in Queens, New York with vocalist/keyboardist Peter Zaremba, guitarist Keith Streng, bassist Jan Marek Pakulski, and drummer Bill Milhizer and aimed to return rock & roll to the simplicity and unselfconsciousness of the '50s and early '60s. (The group was...
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Stocking Stuffer, The Fleshtones
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