9 Songs, 18 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This is exactly what is says it is: Christmas Songs performed by the punk group Bad Religion. Anyone expecting some sort of subversion of the holiday classics will be disappointed. However, for those who enjoy Greg Graffin's clean and concise vocals, note-perfect harmonies, and the band's usual crunchy guitar tone—and who also like these familiar and tuneful seasonal songs—this is a rockin’ Xmas offering. The band doesn’t shirk from the songs' religious connotations, nor does it stop from adding a hard rock guitar solo to “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Only “American Jesus” (here in its mix by Andy Wallace, whose name is synonymous with mixing Slayer and Nirvana) breaks with tradition. Elsewhere, “Little Drummer Boy” works with the rhythmic possibilities. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” ramps up the velocity. “What Child Is This?” further breaks past the speed limit, running neck and neck with the equally speedy “Angels We Have Heard on High.” What becomes most evident by album’s end is just how strong these songs are, and how their melodies are truly timeless and gorgeous no matter how they’re presented.

EDITORS’ NOTES

This is exactly what is says it is: Christmas Songs performed by the punk group Bad Religion. Anyone expecting some sort of subversion of the holiday classics will be disappointed. However, for those who enjoy Greg Graffin's clean and concise vocals, note-perfect harmonies, and the band's usual crunchy guitar tone—and who also like these familiar and tuneful seasonal songs—this is a rockin’ Xmas offering. The band doesn’t shirk from the songs' religious connotations, nor does it stop from adding a hard rock guitar solo to “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Only “American Jesus” (here in its mix by Andy Wallace, whose name is synonymous with mixing Slayer and Nirvana) breaks with tradition. Elsewhere, “Little Drummer Boy” works with the rhythmic possibilities. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” ramps up the velocity. “What Child Is This?” further breaks past the speed limit, running neck and neck with the equally speedy “Angels We Have Heard on High.” What becomes most evident by album’s end is just how strong these songs are, and how their melodies are truly timeless and gorgeous no matter how they’re presented.

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