MxPx has been releasing an exclusive Christmas song each year to Fan Club members since 1998. In 2009, the band finally made all of the songs, plus a few additional ones, available for everyone to enjoy with the release of their debut Christmas album, Punk Rawk Christmas. The album is available in two forms: The Red cover (standard version; digital download) and the Green cover (deluxe version; hard copy only). The Green version adds two unreleased bonus tracks not available anywhere else. Hardcore fans can also pick get a 7 inch vinyl featuring the title track and a special acoustic version of "Christmas Day." This is a review of the Green release.
Any long time fan will be familiar with at least a few of the songs offered up on this collection which covers the gamut. Everything from missing your girl, a zombie attack (yes, zombies), snowball fights, and being sick on Christmas Day is covered. The album kicks off with the title track, which is a brand new song done for the album. The song follows the typical MxPx pop-punk formula and has a really good feel to get you in the Christmas spirit. The album then goes in order from 1998-2008 playing through their once-exclusive Christmas tracks.
Some notable tracks in this section are "Christmas Day," "Christmas Night of the Living Dead," "It's Christmas and I'm Sick," "Late Great Snowball Fight of 2006" and "Gimme Christmas." It seems every year Mike Herrera just lets his mind run when writing, but it works for him. "Christmas Day" is one of the band's all time best Christmas songs with a festive feel as Herrera exclaims, "…a little goes a long way on Christmas Day" (It also appeared on the Tooth & Nail Records compilation Happy Christmas Volume 2). "Christmas Night of the Living Dead" is perhaps the strangest Christmas song ever written. The song has an aggressive feel and will definitely have you laughing, but "Christmas night of the living the dead; my face is green and the snow is red" or "I greet them with a shotgun blast straight to the head. Bloody entrails, staring eyes, now I'm the living dead" don't really seem like lyrics from a Christmas song.
"Late Great Snowball Fight of 2006" is easily a top track as the band reminds you that they have always been about having fun. The song is about exactly what it sounds like… a giant neighborhood snowball fight. Herrera comes back with more comical lyrics in this one as he warns, "You best be thinking twice, don't mess with me I've gotta go. Because I don't play nice I'll make you eat the yellow snow." His friends' nicknames will also having you laughing as he breaks down the snowball fighters: "The Yurinator," "Grimy Richard," "Stinky Pete" are just a few along with "The H-Bomb," which is Herrera himself. "Gimme Christmas" is another fun song with a hip-hop feel in the verse with a pop-punk chorus. The song is a ridiculous Christmas list as Herrera runs down all the things he "needs" for Christmas. Laughter ensues again as Tom gives his "best" attempt at the hip-hop background vocals.
The album is chock full of other Christmas songs that aren't traditional, but will have you singing along with the festive lyrics in no time. The only traditional holiday song on the album is the previously unreleased classic, "Auld Lang Syne." The Green version also contains the tracks "Coal," about finding coal in your stocking, and "Questions," which asks the questions "Do you believe?" and "Do you agree?".
The album's biggest shortcoming is the lack of new material. Though it is great to finally have all of the old Christmas songs on one collection, it would have been nice to have several more new songs. It would have also been fun to hear the punk veterans show their take on some other traditional Christmas songs. Overall, this a fun release that will have you looking forward to Christmas so you can listen once again. If you are looking for an album with more traditional songs with a modern update, you may want to check out the Happy Christmas series or X Christmas. If you like punk rock, or are looking for some fun, "new" Christmas songs, this is the album to get. Can you really go wrong with MxPx? Get ready for a "Punk rawk Christmas… Come spread your cheer."- Review date: 12/3/10, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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