Mistletoe, mince pies, and Xmas songs are all major ingredients in festivities whether you have an appetite for them or not. Without our site having a cookery page, we take a gander at a few of the latter to help get you in the mood.
First up is Merry Christmas To You from British punks Peter118. Stoke-based, the band is the brainchild of Peter Field, former member of Senseless and Ambassadors of Shalom. Originally a solo project, the band has grown into a quartet with Field’s wife Janine on bass/backing vocals, Sam Critchley on drums, and Alisha Palmer on guitar/backing vocals. This year the band has already hit the spot with In Stereo, a split EP alongside US punks No Lost Cause and in particular with the single taken from it, Wasting.
Featured on the compilation Rodney On The Rock Presents: Santa’s Got a GTO Vol. 2 alongside tracks from the likes of CJRamone, Color TV, The Ramonas, Frankie and the Studs, and The Dollyrots, Merry Christmas To You is a slice of old school UK meets raw US punk as infectious as it is enticingly raw. Spicy grooves and hooks collude with hungry riffs and rampant rhythms across less than two minutes of richly appetising rock ‘n’ roll. Admittedly we do not have a natural appetite for Christmas offerings but for songs like Merry Christmas To You we eagerly raise a glass.
Another track hitting the spot is Goodbye Psychotic Christmas. From Brian Kroll & My Son The Bum, who equally have laid down one of the year’s bright spots in the single Mad Man (Playing in a Mad World’s Game) this past February. My Son The Bum has shown itself a band unafraid to explore distinctly individual styles and flavours in their releases and prime songwriter Brian Kroll shows he is a dab hand at seasonal offerings too with the new single.
Draped around a vintage rock ‘n’ roll stroll, inspired by Gene Vincent according to Knoll, melodies wind their temptation as vocals equally lure ears. As much as there is that fifties hue, there is seventies festive seasoning too, the song echoing the seasonal gifts of bands like Mud and Showaddywaddy to capture the imagination and raise the spirit for parties to come.
Introducing us all their Christmas Girl is Italian band Carnaby. Inspired by their experience of being away from loved ones during Xmas due to band commitments, the song is a catchy slice of pop rock with a great sixties pop/seventies mod flavouring.
Hailing from Canicattì, Carnaby was formed in 2010 taking their name as direct reference to the famous London street and its sixties musical heritage. Consisting of brothers Joseph and Vincent Sandonato, Pietro Pelonero, and Giuseppe Racalbuto, the quartet moved to Bristol in 2016 and is currently working on their debut album for release next year.
Christmas Girl is an infectious embrace of familiar essences borne of those earlier mentioned flavours. It sways and teases with its open love of sixties pop, its melodies a warm enticement as rhythms share their firmer touch with the same kind of inescapable catchiness. The track is not particularly unique but a whole lot of fun, just as Christmas should be.
Completing our look is some Holiday Season pop rock from Jeff Michaels. From Boston, MA, singer songwriter Michaels continues his tradition of the past five years in releasing a holiday single and accompanying video. This year it is It’s Been a Long Time, Christmas and its ” simple call for the return of Christmas, and the brighter days we all need.”
The song is a gentle croon with an instinctive catchiness, emotive keys, and a country hued lacing sure to please appetites for mellow yet boisterous pop. Michaels’ voice is equally as enticing, his melodic strains a warm caress matching the tender hug of the sounds around him.
In a time where this type of song can be as unwelcome as some relatives these are four tracks which buck the trend and will easily add something enjoyable to your seasonal soundtrack.
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