Let’s be real, this year has been pretty bleak. Maybe all this holiday “cheer” doesn’t seem quite right this year. Perhaps you feel that celebrations are not really in order. But you’re not going to just sit there in silence now, are you? To help compile this special playlist, we recruited a handful of music heads from around town who aren’t exactly known for their taste in cheerful music. Pull the needle off that Bing Crosby record and toss it in the garbage where, in times like these, it belongs, and crank up the volume on these twisted tunes. We’re positive these anti-holiday ballads and heavy odes to the jolly season will wake up the sheeple in your life. Note: we apologize in advance for the excess of songs by King Douche GG Allin, may he be writhing in eternal pain wherever misogynists go when they finally accomplish the only worthy deed of their existence and leave this planet forever.
Jimmy Duff, owner of Duff’s Brooklyn
As owner of Williamsburg’s least ambiguous heavy metal bar, Jimmy Duff was definitely at the top of our list for Scrooge tune curators. For heaven’s sake, the man drives a hearse. We figured Duff could offer us some solid advice, after all his bar is coated from floor to ceiling in metal ephemera and kitschy porn, and customers have the chance to spin the “Wheel of Misfortune.” Prizes include free shots and a chance to be banished to the gimp cage for 20 minutes. Hark the herald angels sing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsZu3A7hlm0 1) “Fuck Christmas” – FEAR This, of course, is the sledgehammer obvious choice for #1.
2)“Red Water (Christmas Mourning)” – Type O Negative This slab of sonic depression could only be from the masters, Type O Negative. A tale of loss and mourning,and as a bonus, the Christmas tree gets knocked over in the middle of the song, much to the children’s chagrin – Winning !!!
3) “Death to Jesus” – Deicide
My Grandmother actually turned me on this little ditty. Best played at full volume while making “S’mores.”
4) Blowfly does XXX-Mas – Blowfly
It’s impossible to pick just one song on this masterpiece, considered by many (OK, a few) to be The White Album of Christmas records. Not for the kiddies, so beware.
5) “The 12 Days of Christmas” – G.G. Allin
This super lo-fi interpretation of the Christmas classic, by the immaculate G.G. Allin, will actually cause brain damage with multiple listens. Please use with caution.
6) “I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus” – Dr. Demento
In 2014, same sex anything shouldn’t be a big deal to anyone with an IQ over 60. However, there are still some people who get twisted over the idea– if this song upsets even just a few of them, then play on.
7) “Run Rudolph Run” – Lemmy Kilminster
A straightforward, upbeat cover of the classic. Why is it on the list? Because if I can crowbar Lemmy into any kind list, I will. All hail Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilminster, born on Christmas Eve, December 24th, 1945.
8) “Raining Blood” – Slayer
A song about snow on Xmas? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…. How about this thrash-terpiece, about a more sinister kind of precipitation instead? Bonus: played loudly on repeat, it is capable of breaking leases and driving your uptight neighbors absolutely insane.
9) “Christmas Ride” – FIGHT
FIGHT, Rob Halford’s solo band, after leaving Judas Priest in 1992, released this holiday single back in 1993. I know what you’re thinking– I’ve never heard of it ? That’s because it’s fucking horrible !!! If you can make it through one listen, may Santa bake and bring you some “special” brownies this year.
11) “No Presents for Christmas” – King Diamond
What list would be complete without King Diamond, the Satanic Prince ?? Cornball points for mentioning Tom & Jerry and Donald Duck are forgiven, the song is “Anti” and that’s what’s we’re looking for.
Honorable mention: “All I Want For Christmas Is My Six Front Teeth” – Leon Spinks
Bill Dozer, owner of The Anchored Inn and The Acheron
The Acheron is widely known as the place to go for Brooklyn’s most brutal shows—every week bands blast hardcore, punk, metal, and all sort of noise on stage. Bill Dozer owns the venue and adjacent bar, the Anchored Inn, and he’s also responsible for booking shows, so we figured he’d be able to point us in the direction of some truly depraved holiday tracks.
1)“X-Mas Time (For the Skins)”- Crucial Youth
Well this is a funny start, because this is totally a pro-Christmas song, unless of course you don’t like skinheads. Sung to the tune of the classic Iron Cross / Agnostic Front anthem “Crucified (For Your Sins),” this is the B-side to the ultimate holiday-themed posi-hardcore EP of all time, The Crucial Yule.
2) “Santa Clause Is Back In Town” – Poison Idea
The best hardcore band of all time released this cover of the not-so-classic Elvis Presley track in 1993, and it was re-released last year as their contribution to a split 7” with the Angry Snowmen.
3) “The Scrooges Carol (Figgy Cares)” – Figgy and the Scrooges
Members of Times New Viking and Nervosas get together during the holidays to play shows as this raucous lo-fi punk ensemble, and it’s always a treat. “Scrooges don’t give a SHIT!!”
4) “Less the Merrier” – Night Birds From their Born to Die in Suburbia LP, this is one of the few tracks here that isn’t on a Christmas or holiday-themed 7” or compilation. It’s just stuck in the mix of one of the best genuine punk fucking rock records to come out it years. Yeah, you can say that Night Birds totally rip off D.I. or Adolescents, but who cares? They do it well, and they give me the same stoke those bands did.
5) “White Christmas” – The Fuck Ups Nope, not a cover of the Irving Berlin standard, but rather a send-up of “White Power” by Skrewdriver. How’s that make you feel, Old Nick?
6) “Sock It To Me, Santa- 1986” – The Lazy CowgirlsBob Seger cover. Rips off James Brown. What the hell else do you want?
7) “Fuck Christmas” – Fear The classic. Nobody has ever done the confrontational-sleaze-bag-who-would-actually-kick-your-ass better than Lee Ving. While this isn’t the first anti-christmas song, it’s among the very very best.
8) “Santa’s Gonna Get His Head Kicked In Tonight” – The Stocking Stuffers I don’t really know much about this band, but the credits did let me know that while the more well-known version of this song is by the Rezillos, the original was by Fleetwood Mac. WTF?
9) “Merry Christmas (I fucked your snowman)” – The Showcase Showdown Yeah, that’s right. I was totally bonkers for pogo punk in the ’90s. Sloppy. Immature. Rude. Wasted drunk. I almost get a little tear in my eye for those halcyon days when I listen to snippets of nostalgia like this.
10) “GG Allin’s Christmas Song” – GG Allin This is a no-brainer, and possibly the most wretched tribute to mom’s favorite holiday. Here is the master of the depraved’s version of “The 12 Days of Christmas” and it’s every bit the grotesque mockery you’d want and expect. Merry Fucking Christmas, you shitbag.
Kim Kelly, contributing editor at Noisey, and her work has also appeared in Spin, Rolling Stone, Jezebel, Pitchfork, and more.
Kim Kelly, AKA @GrimKim, knows a thing or two about the darker side of popular music. Just take a look at her latest work over at Vice’s Noisey: Italian black metal, crust punks, noise, drone, death metal. From what we can tell, she’s a huge fan of Bathory, which in our book 100 percent qualifies you as someone who shares our disgust of all things Yule.
1) “Black Christmas” – Venom
2)“Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms” – Immortal
As if I was going to start off a list of wintery metal tunes without including this gem (though “Call of the Wintermoon” was a close second). These iconic Norwegian black metal legends are no strangers to frosty themes and surely not slouches on the music video front, but “Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms” really takes the cake. Observe Demonaz tremolo-shredding the shit out of his guitar and Abbath croaking up a storm about crystallized dimensions while they’re literally ENCASED IN ICE and realize that you will never be this cool.
3) “The March and the Stream” – Skepticism
December’s coming to a close. It’s the dead of winter. The sky is grey, the winds are fierce, and bitter cold permeates your weary bones. Embrace the darkness with one of Finland’s finest funereal exports.
4) “Winter” – Amebix
The Baron’s ragged cries echo through the stillness. Frozen blood flows sluggishly through shrunken veins. The wind howls outside your door. Hope is fading. Will winter ever end?
5) “Skogens hjärta” – Hypothermia
Suicide rates spike around the winter holidays, and death comes prowling once the light begins to fade. The loss is something Hypothermia vocalist ( ) knows all too well after the untimely death of his former bandmate B. in 2011. A song like “Skogens hjärta” is a chilling testament to the icy loneliness of depression, dragging forlornly through over an hour of complete desolation.
6) “A Cruel Taste of Winter” – My Dying Bride
Descend even deeper into despair with Aaron Stainthorpe’s velvety, aristocratic croon. There’s a reason My Dying Bride remains one of the UK’s most revered harbingers of doom, and this supremely mournful track off The Dreadful Hours is a fine example of why.
7) “No Presents for Christmas” – Exhumed
But hell, winter’s not all doom and gloom! Sometimes you want to let loose, get familiar with a pint of eggnog, and warble few Christmas carols. If you’re going to go so far as to cover the King, though, you’d damn well better make sure you do him justice. Exhumed has released scads of delightful covers over its long and gory career, but the band really outdid itself on this one. This rendition of “No Presents for Christmas” is so much fun that you might forget about the impending arrival of grandma’s dreaded Christmas ham.
8) “Viking Christmas” – Amon Amarth
Turns out even this troupe of roaring, bearded Scandinavians can’t resist a bit of Christmas kitsch.They abandon their usual “We are literally Vikings” schtick on the lyrics on this jaunty little death metal ditty, but I’ll give them a pass. I mean, how can you resist a mental image like this one: “I bet you can’t imagine how sentimental we can be: five bearded Vikings reenact the nativity scene.”
9) “O Come, O Come Azrael” – J. J. Hrubovcak
The Hrubovcak brothers are prolific death metal mercenaries and, apparently, filled with the holiday spirit. In 2013, multi-instrumentalist J. J. (currently of Hate Eternal) enlisted the help of his brother Mike (vocalist for Monstrosity, Vile, and Azure Emote) to record a Christmas EP of decidedly blasphemous proportions. This retooling of the ancient Christian hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is a slow, somber, death/doom march into oblivion.
10) “So This Is Christmas” – Quo Vadis
These defunct and death-obssessed Canadians usually stick to more noodley, technical fare, but this reimagining of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” is a stripped-down stroke of groovy genius.
Honorable mention (sort of?): “Carol of the Bells” – Erlosung
I couldn’t resist tacking this on at the end thanks to its sheer gleeful absurdity. I wouldn’t call this “good,” per se, as it involves a manic Dani Filth clone screeching melodramatically over tinkling chimes, but it did inspire a hearty snicker—which is about as close to a Santa-style belly laugh as I’m going to get.