Christmas is just around the corner, and with that in mind Getintothis’ Will Fitzpatrick has compiled the ultimate top 10 alternative Christmas songs – this is a Cliff free zone.
Even the lesser-heard Christmas songs seem rather played out these days.
Sure, Low‘s Just Like Christmas and Grandaddy‘s Alan Parsons In A Winter Wonderland retain their brilliance, but how many times can you listen to them without wanting to hear something else?
With that in mind, Getintothis presents an alternative festive selection guaranteed to keep your spirits up during this holly jolly season. Merry bloody Christmas!
1. The Jacobites: Teenage Christmas
Nikki Sudden‘s post-Swell Maps outfit are largely overlooked, but this is a classic example of why they shouldn’t be.
It’s got everything you could want in a Christmas song: sleigh bells, a thoroughly silly premise, a chorus you won’t be able to shake from your head for months… Wonderful stuff.
2. Run DMC: Christmas Is
Endearingly daft stuff from everyone’s favourite hip-hop legends, with a genuinely funny video to boot.
Christmas In Hollis is hard to knock, but this track trumps it for the sort of shouty refrain that sounds best when you’re idiotically, transcendentally batshit drunk. Towards which this time of year is pretty conducive, of course.
3. The Sonics: Santa Claus
Speaking of drunk, Gerry Roslie sounds positively steaming on this hilarious garage stormer, seeming to adopt the role of a surly youth approaching jolly ol’ Saint Nick to make some enquiries about presents.
If the child’s line of questioning occasionally seems curiously sexualised (“Is there something for me inside that sack?” – PERV), you’ll be relieved to find that that the answer is a frantic “NUTHIN’! NUTHIN’! NUTHIN’!”
4. Eux Autres: Another Christmas At Home
A burst of breezy Christmas cheer from Heather and Nicholas Larimer. Returning home for the holidays, the siblings get caught up in a mess of booze-sodden parties – something that we can all relate to. POP FACT: they ain’t talking figuratively when they say they’ve got champagne on tap in the family home. Cor!
5. The Ventures: Jingle Bell Rock
Plenty of genres sound tailor-made for Yuletide, and The Ventures‘ twangy proto-surf is right up there.
It’s a simple trick: take a well-loved standard, take out the singing and speed it the hell up, but it works. Add sleigh bells, and what’ve you got? Why, you’ve got festive cheer right there.
6. A Girl Called Eddy: The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot
More downbeat than the other selections here, but no less lovely for that. Erin Moran‘s breathily soulful delivery imbues this fairly mawkish tale with far more charm than one could reasonably expect, and comes up trumps in the process.
7. Ten Benson: Black Snow
…And here come the party-poopers! Everyone’s favourite psychedelic hillbillies ruin Christmas for everyone with a nightmarish vision of just how wrong things could possibly get. The fact that it sits astride such a magnificently ZZ Top-esque riff is a bonus.
8. Shonen Knife: Space Christmas
Can we agree that Shonen Knife are one of the best rock’n’roll bands the world has ever seen? Good. This is more of their ususal no-frills approach to pop music, and as thrilling as ever.
9. Redd Kross: Super Sunny Christmas
You might be thinking that the McDonald brothers’ immaculate harmonies are more suited to summer than the December cold, and judging by this track, so do they. It’s their usual addictive bubblegum schtick, only tarted up a bit with sleigh bells. Fucking good though, innit?
10. The Pointed Sticks: Power Pop Santa
It’s the only sensible way to follow that Shonen Knife/Redd Kross double whammy: a marvellous piece of seasonal silliness from the Canadian pop-punk legends. More of this sort of thing please.
AND AS AN ADDED BONUS…
Do I really have to explain how brilliant this is?