Christmas Albums: Various artists <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

A Santa Cause - It's a Punk Rock Christmas 2, IMMORTAL
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Actually, it's nothing like a punk rock Christmas. But then, this is a US compilation, and its definition of punk has always been somewhat woolly. So although tracks such as Dave Melillo's "All I Want for Christmas" and Tyler Read's "New Year" employ the requisite buzzsaw guitars and angsty vocals, they're employed to make the kind of over-produced, ersatz punk-pop sound that talent-show mediocrities might come up with. Elsewhere, there's Christian metal from Haste (sic) the Day, self-confessed emo from It Dies Today and Spitalfield, and rather too many unimaginative covers of Christmas songs by Wham!, McCartney and John & Yoko. The better tracks are few and far between: MC Lars' "Gary the Green-Nosed Reindeer" is a white-boy rap about Rudolph's half-brother getting his chance at the sleigh when Osama kidnaps Red-nose; Action Action's "Father Christmas" pleads with Santa to "give all the ties to the little rich boys" rather than them; and best of all, Umbrellas' "O' Holy Night" comprises a blend of Sparklehorse-style scratchy patina and haunted harmonies in the Midlake manner.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Gary the Green-Nosed Reindeer', 'Father Christmas', 'O' Holy Night'