It sounds unusual enough for punk bands to put out Christmas albums (The Vandals’ satirical Oi To The World comes to mind,) much less for Bad Religion to put out a holiday cover EP on Epitaph. I’ve initial reactions including “is this a joke?” and “they care more about money than being true to their roots.” The fact, however, is that Bad Religion is simply trying something unique in their fight against conformity (they’re not necessarily even anti-religious.) I was excited to hear Christmas Songs because with over three decades of experience behind them, I had a feeling that Bad Religion wouldn’t disappoint.
The songs are just as catchy and fast-paced as their typical songs, with covers primarily consisting of hymns from the 18th and 19th centuries. My favorites include “What Child Is This?” and “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” translating surprisingly well for Greg Graffin’s trademark vocal style. The final track is a bonus mix of “American Jesus,” with Andy Wallace giving it additional treatment to make it sound extra-meaty.