This album is like an elbow to the temple, a kick in the shin or a stamp on your toes, in a good way. If you’re the kind of person that stands well back when the moshing starts, then there’s a good chance you won’t get past the intro of ‘Turn Me Lewd’, the first song of this album, before skipping it entirely. You might want to read one of our other reviews here.
Still here? Good. Christmas are a high energy mosh-every-song punk band. It doesn’t take long to figure that out: complex timing rhythms in the opening two songs, high-BPM songs from start to finish - the longest song in the album is just over 2 and a half minutes. This is anything but easy listening.
That’s not to say it’s bad: On the contrary: the songs are very well arranged, masterfully produced - the high energy is captured very well, and is never fatiguing on the ears.
Did I mention masterfully produced? The producer of ‘Hot Nights in Saint Vandal’ did anything but ‘Fuck It Up’ - title of the 9th track. The drums are thumping and clear, the vocals cut through without biting, the guitars are beautifully distorted yet not hissy, and separation of the instruments is incredible, especially considering the crazy tempo with which each is being played. Oh, I really want to ask the producer how he mixed the satisfying chorus vocals peppered throughout the whole album - but especially prominent in ‘Push Fast’ - Incredibly luscious.
All this captures the raw energy of the band so well, I found myself wanting to applaud in the brief moments of silence between the tracks - no, really, I did.
The most radio-friendly song is fittingly titled ‘Candy Me’, and it’s the last track on the album - the position almost revealing its status as a concession, maybe?
If you’re a fan of the genre, there’s a lot to love here, a wonderful collection of songs, recorded and produced with love. If you’re only half interested in harder than rock stuff, give it a try - the whole album doesn’t take long to get through, so you have no excuse!
I’d LOVE to see Christmas live, I wonder if they have plans to play near Vienna any time soon?
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