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Christmas album review: Bad Religion's 'Christmas Songs'

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Bad Religion's 'Christmas Songs'

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ARTIST: Bad Religion

TITLE: “Christmas Songs”

LABEL: Epitaph Records

STYLE: Punk Rock Christmas

NOTABLE: There's nothing particularly shocking, or even original about a band recording punk rock versions of Christmas songs. However, there's an obvious irony when a punk rock band named Bad Religion records an album of Christmas songs.

Bad Religion has a history of performing an occasional Christmas song in concert around the holidays. For “Christmas Songs,” the band plays it straight, performing all eight of the Christmas songs on the EP with their original lyrics. The ninth track is a re-mix of “American Jesus,” a song that originally appeared on the band's “Recipe For Hate” album.

“A lot of people were shocked that we weren’t making jokes out of the songs,” lead vocalist Greg Graffin explained in a recent interview with Diffuser.fm. “For Bad Religion to perform these highly religious Christmas songs is to me, comparable with a heathen taking the pulpit and giving a sermon.”

In any case, the “punkiest” aspect of the project might be the fact that 20 percent of the proceeds from “Christmas Songs” will go to an organization called SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests).

HIGH POINTS: If you're a fan of the band, or simply like to hear Christmas songs performed in nontraditional styles, you'll probably like “Christmas Songs.” Even if you're not, you'll have to admit that “White Christmas” can be turned into a pretty catchy rocker.

LOW POINT: I wonder how many hard-core punk rock fans are going to run out by a Christmas album just because it was recorded by an iconic punk band?

There, I'm done wondering.

GRADE: C-

***

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