Sound: Year after year Christmas fills the cold air with the same seasonal noises; chestnuts roasting, children laughing and the sound of dated compilation CDs being dusted off. Some of the classics, charming as they are, do not have infinite shelf life so people run the risk of having their cheer eroded over time by repetition death by Slade, if you will. But MxPx, everyone's 6th favourite pop-punk band, won't have that for one second! So what they've done is compiled the many Christmas tunes they've been supplying their fanclub with for years, and put them out there as one tidy, manageable powerchord injection.
It's understandable to approach this with caution this is MxPx and there was every chance that putting the Christmas spirit on top of their own fluorescent cheeriness would result in so much happiness that a dramatic increase in fairy dust in our atmosphere would make the earth inhospitable. Luckily, they mostly stick to the right side of the line between feel-good and irritating, but the album's greatest moment comes from the one-two punch of It's Christmas And I'm Sick' and 2005', two numbers that have pretty sad undertones, all the while remaining intriguingly optimistic musically. // 6
Lyrics: In fact, the overall lyrical content goes above and beyond what's expected from a Christmas album. Brand new track Punk Rawk Christmas' goes into surprisingly sentimental territory, covering the themes of friendship and overcoming adversity, whilst others tackle tales from the road and provide goodwill aplenty. There are songs about snowball fights and delectable Christmas zombies later on though, so don't worry, they've got all bases covered. Mike Herrera's likeable voice functions once again as a messenger for all these antics, causing no offence - the ear-rape that is Christmas Party' aside but harvesting few accolades, I'd imagine. // 7
Overall Impression: It's a given that writing about Christmas albums isn't my forte. It's not even my...mezzo forte, so giving Punk Rawk Christmas' the many listens it normally takes to churn out a review becomes pretty laborious; however, this holiday season you are unlikely to really need this compilation for more than a quick energy boost or a top-up to your Christmas spirit, so with that in mind it's a success. Short, snappy, catchy tunes all wearing Santa hats what more could you want? Nowt till next year, I suppose. // 7
- Duncan Geddes aka duncang (c) 2009