Fearless Records has done it again. On November 5th, the company released their 15th “Punk Goes” album, Punk Goes X-Mas. Since 2000, Fearless has regularly released thematic compilation CDs featuring some of their best artists performing covers of well-known hits, and this new album does not disappoint. Thirteen Fearless artists, including All Time Low, New Found Glory, The Ready Set, and Jason Lancaster wrote original tracks or recorded covers for the album.
New Found Glory’s song “Nothing For Christmas” opens with sultry guitar and sleigh bells. Lead singer Jordan Pundik croons about getting exactly what he wants for Christmas: his significant other. With a catchy hook and a beat that makes the head bop from side to side in joy and remembrance, “Nothing For Christmas” is the perfect opener for this holiday album. “All I Can Give You”, an original by former lead singer of Go Radio, Jason Lancaster, is a signature Lancaster ballad wherein he sings about giving a piece of himself to an important person in his life. When Jason belts out his vibrato with just his piano, magic happens, and his heartfelt lyrics and clean vocals make this solo debut a hit.
All Time Low’s contribution “Fool’s Holiday,” stays true to their signature guitar-heavy melodies, with church bells and piano accompaniment in the lulls. Alex Gaskarth’s vocals are reminiscent of previous All Time Low albums, and it’s a nice addition to the band’s arsenal. “I Don’t Wanna Spend Another Christmas Without You” by The Ready Set is perhaps the most catchy on the album. Jordan Mark Witzigreuter stays within his typical alternative-pop genre with some jingle bells thrown into the mix. The electro-pop backbeat and cleverly written holiday lyrics make it easy to learn, sing and dance around to.
While there are multiple hits on this “Punk Goes”, there are also some duds. “Father Christmas” by Man Overboard comments on the commercialized Christmas is a satirical way, but its whiny delivery overshadows otherwise meaningful lyrics. There is a time and a place to be kicked in the face with realities of the holiday season, but this sloppy arrangement makes it hard to concentrate on the message of the song. “This Christmas (I’ll Burn it to the Ground)” by Set it Off is the epitome of an anti-holiday ballad. It starts off hopeful with a medley of traditional Christmas tunes and suddenly spirals into an angry guitar and drum dominated anti-Christmas tune. With decent vocals and a cool beat, the song can stand alone, but it does not jive with the other tracks on the album.
Other artists on the album include Issues, William Beckett, Crown the Empire, The Summer Set, Yellowcard, and Real Friends. Overall, “Punk Goes X-Mas” is a new take on the classic Christmas album, introducing new holiday songs to the mix and paying respectful homage to the classics. Available on iTunes and to stream on the Fearless Records YouTube channel, this compilation album makes for the perfect background music this holiday season.