12 Riffs of Christmas AUGUST BURNS RED – CAROL OF THE BELLS

mi0003440877August Burns Red – Carol of the Bells (from the album August Burns Red Presents: Sleddin’ Hill A Holiday Album, 2012 Solid State) These good Christian boys are one of technical metal’s finest bands. The entire Holiday album the released in 2012 is actually quite spectacular. The all-traditional track listing is done up all heavy, but enjoyably so. It may not be your thing, but these guys are undeniably talented. Carol of the Bells is one of my favorite Christmas songs, so I chose their version to share with you. The fancy light show in the video is just a bonus.

T.

 

12 Riffs of Christmas GWAR – Stripper Christmas Summer Weekend

screen-shot-2012-12-20-at-1-03-42-pmGWAR – Stripper Christmas Summer Weekend (from the album Bloody Pit of Horror, 2010 Metal Blade) There are many different Christmas traditions around the world. For example, in the Ukraine, trees are decorated with spider webs because according to legend a “magic spider” will spin webs of gold and silver for the less fortunate. People in the Czech Republic are taught not to eat anything on Christmas eve until a large feast is prepared in hopes to see the “golden pig” appear. In Iceland, there are thirteen troll-like Santa characters that come down from the mountain during the holidays to bring children gifts or rotten potatoes, depending on the child’s behavior. If you are in the band GWAR, you celebrate Christmas in the summer, over a whole weekend, with strippers. It may not be conventional, but who is going to argue with those guys. I have also included a video of GWAR doing some caroling. Ho Ho Ho.

T.

12 Riffs of Christmas EAZY E – Merry Mutha**uckkin’ X-Mas

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Eazy E – Merry Muthaphuckkin’ Xmas (from the EP 5150: Home 4 Tha Sick, 1992 Ruthless/Priority Records – Not exactly your typical Christmas carol, but perhaps the greatest Holiday story ever told? The late, great Eazy E (N.W.A.) and a cast of friends let us know what they want from Santa, and what he’s gonna get in return. This is not for the kids, as it features some pretty nasty lyrics, but how else can Eazy tell us about Christmas in Compton? It was a silent night, it was a Holy night

T.

12 Riffs of Christmas THE POGUES – FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK

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The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacCollFairytale of New York (from the album If I Should Fall From Grace With God, 1988 Pogue Mahone)  This folk-style ballad is a real Christmas gem, and one of my favorites. Although it took two years from it`s inception until it`s release, Fairytale of New York is one of the most played Christmas songs in the UK, and has reached the top twenty singles charts every year over the past decade. What could be better than Christmas through the eyes of a drunken Irish immigrant? Not too much.

T.

12 Riffs of Christmas SPINAL TAP – Christmas With The Devil

May I proudly bring to you, a collection of my favorite non-traditional Christmas carols. Each day I will share a song, just to fill your Holiday season with cheer. Behold…12 Riffs of Christmas!

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Spinal Tap – Christmas with the Devil (from the album This is Spinal Tap [re-release], 2000 Polydor).  I could not think of a better way to begin the 12 Riffs of Christmas than the worlds greatest fiction band; Spinal Tap. This is Christmas through the eyes of Nigel Tufnel (Christoper Guest), David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean), and Derek Smalls (Harry Shearer). This is what happens to X-Mas when you turn the amps up to eleven. If you have not seen the mock documentary This Is Spinal Tap, you probably won’t appreciate this as much of those of us who have seen it. None the less, even the Devil gets lonely during the holidays. Spend some time with him.

T.

Riff of the Day (Nov 19) Clutch – X-Ray Visions

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Clutch – X-Ray Vision (from the album Psychic Warfare, 2015 Weathermaker Music) The lead single from these seminal rockers latest studio album,  Psychic Warfare, is dynamite. Big riffs and a sing-a-long chorus make this song pure Clutch. Is there a better front man in the business than Neil Fallon? He is cool without trying, and possesses one hell of a beard. Having kept the band together without line-up changes for 20 years, these guys deserve more credit than they get. Psychic Warfare is real, and it is magic.

T.

Riff of the Day (Nov 15) Kyuss – Un Sandpiper

Kyuss – Un Sandpiper (from the B-side of the Gardenia single, 1995 Elektra) In my opinion, this song features the quintessential Kyuss line up of John Garcia (vocals), Joshua Homme (guitar), Scott Reeder (bass), and Brant Bjork (drums). Un Sandpiper is a great example of the sound these guys created in the California desert. If this song does not have your head bobbing two seconds after the drums kick in, you are probably hearing impaired. The impact this band has had in my personal listening habits can not be measured. Kyuss has spawned many amazing bands, and their influence is undeniable.

Riff of the Day (Nov 12) 3 Inches Of Blood – Battles and Brotherhood

3 Inches Of Blood – Battles and Brotherhood (from the album Here Waits Thy Doom, Century Media Records, 2009) Sadly, 3IOB played their final show this past weekend in their home town of Vancouver. For the past ten years, these guys were the premier Canadian metal band. They have shared the stage with some of the biggest heavy metal acts in the world, and I was fortunate enough to see them on play on three occasions. I would love to dedicate Battles and Brotherhood to 3 Inches Of Blood. Thank you for the years of keeping metal strong in Canada and beyond. Thanks boys! Crank this son-of-a-bitch up.

T.

Riff of the Day (Nov 10) Guns N’ Roses – Night Train

Guns N’ Roses – Night Train (from the album Appetite For Destruction, Geffen 1987) If you were a teen in the Eighties, you possessed a cassette of Appetite For Destruction,or had a friend that owned it. Everything about this record screamed rebellion. The attitude, the fashion, the notorious behavior; Guns N’ Roses was rock n’ roll. No album in the history of earth had a bigger impact on my life than this polarizing masterpiece. From top to bottom, the finest debut album, and arguably best pure rock record ever. These guys all came to Los Angeles, dirt poor and full of spite, and rendered an album that will always be timeless. Whatever has transpired between Axl, Slash, Duff, Izzy, and Steven over the years can never tarnish the impact of Appetite for Destruction.