By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
When the malls are flooded with traditional music to get shoppers into the Christmas mood, I find I need heavy metal or grunge instead to start rocking it. I’d rather have a Hard Rock Christmas and I’m not talking about wanting a piece of coal in my stocking.
When considering my mood won’t always get uplifted by hearing those sleigh bells jingling, ring tingle tingling, and finding the lovely weather is colder than you like, it’s time to get the body moving to stay warm! When it’s time, I’m sure the last track is cozy enough to fall asleep to.
With only days left for that day (instead of counting down from twelve), I offer my picks to listen down to (the order is intentional) as that annual holiday draws near:
Manic Street Preachers
Ghost of Christmas
Not everyone will know of this Welsh rock band, but when I discovered them, I was hooked! Their sound brings a touch of Roy Orbison, The Clash and perhaps Sex Pistols together in a harmony which simply caught my attention. Ghost of Christmas is simply punk at its best.
Who would have thought Christopher Lee can deliver it! This melody twists everything around that the holiday is known for and gives the other guy some time to shine. Sorry, Jack Skellington, but you have true competition!
Come All Ye Faithful
It’s tough to say everything about this band and their cover of a traditional song all in a few lines. Dee Snider just has that voice that can turn anything classic to pure unadulterated metal. Plus, It’s a song that blends a few classic tunes from this band’s repertoire into a really cool mega-mix.
Jingle Bell Rock
I was hard pressed to figure out which cover of this song I enjoyed more. Perhaps the most well known is Helix’s version, but it just did not have the guitar solo I liked. Firestorm (Facebook page) is perhaps not as well known world wide, but they have a presence. There’s an edge which borders on speed rock, which makes this song come alive.
Run Rudolph Run
No list can not dismiss Lemmy’s contribution to the season. ‘Nuff said.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
The Little Drummer Boy
Although she’s not technically hard rock, Joan Jett is the epitome of punk. She’s just as important as Lemmy in her career in the music scene, and this song deserves to be noted.
Trans Siberian Orchestra
Carol of the Bells
Trans Siberian Orchestra can do no wrong. Some say they pioneered the mix of two different worlds and their concerts have to be experienced live at least once in your lifetime. The way their shows ring in the season is also a blowout for end of the year celebrations too!
I Want You For Christmas
Okay, this song is technically “I Want You to Want Me,” but Cheap Trick does a terrific job as putting new lyrics over a very familiar tune, and keep people dancing.
Drinkin’ Rum and Egg Nog
This British Columbia borne punk rock act deserves special mention. I guess up in Santa’s little corner of the world, the notion of welfare for the staff is unheard of.
Let Me Sleep (Christmas Time)
Let’s just say, Pearl Jam ends my list with a simple premise. There are days when that’s all I want for Christmas, and that’s to sleep in!