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Various Artists We Wish You a Hairy Christmas

By Mick Stingley, Contributor
Tuesday, December 23, 2003 @ 4:09 PM

(Koch Records)

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Dear Santa,
Thank you so much for this collection of washed-up LA ‘80s “Hair Bands” to ring in the holidays with! I love this music so much, it almost pains me to admit it publicly… Honestly, I will play this to death! However, when you love something so much, you also find that you will criticize it, out of love for wanting it to always be better… with that in mind, here are some of my thoughts about this CD… By the way, I know I haven’t been very good this year, but if you can hook me up a 3-way with Pink and the chick from Arch Enemy, I promise to be extra-special real good next year! You rock, dude!

Mick Stingley

Warrant kicks things off with a respectable cover of The Kinks’ “Father Christmas.” I honestly don’t know what to say about this, though -- they really don’t add anything to the original, although the guitars are heavier. It might have been nice if they had done an original. Everyone seems to agree that Jani Lane is a great songwriter and I would like to hear something original from him for Christmas. In the meantime, I guess this will do.

Evidently Jon Bon Jovi is singing for Danger Danger now, who actually have an interesting, albeit unoriginal, idea of building a Christmas song around their hit, “Naughty Naughty.” This is what singers used to do back in the ‘50s and ‘60s… The Beach Boys sort of did it with “Little Saint Nick.” Anway, it’s not bad, considering how great Jon Bon Jovi sounds… or how great the guy who is not Ted Poley is, and how much he sounds like Jon Bon Jovi. But, hey, it’s Christmas. Cute song, good idea. I wish LAG had thought of it, because LA Guns’ version of “Run Run Rudolph” is pretty lame. Lame.

I love LAG, but Tracii and Phil are capable of so much more. I’d rather hear those barking dogs than this. Why not take a page from the Danger Danger book and do a “Sex Action XXX-Mas”? C’mon, Trace -- get the lead out, it’s Christmas… oh well, never mind… still: you could have done a rockin’ version of the Driedel Song… Anyway, it’s Christmas and I’m grateful. At least they sound like LA Guns and managed to stay together long enough to record this.

BulletBoys’ Marq Torien sounds like he’s channeling Lenny Kravitz these days. Honest to God, he sounds so much like Kravitz here, it’s uncanny. I played this for a few friends without saying who it was, and they thought it was Lenny Kravitz, so I know it’s not just me. “Everyday Should Be Like Christmas Day” is an original, and it’s a good song, Very ballad-y. Nice guitars, too. You can almost see the snow falling outside, and Lisa Bonet coming over for a few hours to see the kid.

E’Nuff Z’Nuff chime in with a beautiful mid-tempo original number that is lilting and pretty, like everything they do. Maybe, for Christmas, they’ll get a new record deal, or be hired to write some good songs for some top 40 band, so they can make a big fat bunch of cash. These guys rule, and “Happy Holiday” goes to show just how underrated they are.

Tuff (Featuring Steve Rachelle) comes out on top with their cover of “Jingle Bell Rock” if only because Steve Rachelle sounds like he’s the sleazy, lecherous drunk at the office Christmas party who’s hitting on all the secretaries. This is really cool! Rachelle leers his way through this classic like he spiked the punch and drank it all… awesome!

Every Mother’s Nightmare turns in an unexpected surprise with an original acoustic number which is so pleasant, that in the hands of a Garth Brooks or a Vince Gill, it could actually be a huge, huge country hit. Someone from KOCH needs to make that happen: “Won’t Be Home For Christmas” is a genuinely beautiful song. Hello, Nashville?

Gilby Clarke sounds really angry about “Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” It rocks the hell out of the John Mellancamp version; in fact, it rocks the hell out of just about everything. Gilby Clarke rocks, end of story.

I don’t know what the hell is going on with PBF, but, they’ve crafted some kind of goofy homage to The Ramones, which is fine with me, but seems so “UN-Hair-Metal.” I mean, they certainly sound very Hair Metal; but, I think these guys have been hanging out with Taime at Dragonfly soaking up too much Punk and Goth. This is weird and cool and everything, but it really is a strange song, and I’m not sure it’s a Christmas song. I don’t know -- this is a mystery to me, this one. What the hell is going on out there in LA?

Whatever is going on in LA, KOCH Records evidently wields some strange powers, as they managed to resurrect the Roxx Gang from the dead to do the Lieber/Stroller Elvis classic, “Santa’s Back In Town.” (But, I mean, Roxx Gang? Was “Lixx Array” too busy? If KOCH is intent on raising the dead, they might consider an Easter record… ) It’s pretty good, actually, in a kind of “Blues Brothers” way. Maybe these guys are ready for a “comeback.” Good for them. Who cares? It’s Christmas…

Well, maybe not for Faster Pussycat (Featuring Taime Downe). It’s Christmas in Hell for Creepy T. This is more Newlydeads than Faster, that’s for sure. And there’s no Brent. This should scare the hell out of your girlfriend’s parents when you throw this into the CD player on Christmas Eve. It’s actually very pretty -- in an evil kind of Goth way. Maybe they’ll use it on Charmed or Angel or Joan Of Arcadia or one of those creepy-teen shows. In the meantime, will somebody please go to “Pretty Ugly Club” and give Taime a hug and tell him everything’s gonna be okay? C’mon… for Christmas!

PS - Hey, Santa, here’s a few suggestions for next Christmas:

Poison – “Hollywood Christmas”
Cinderella – “Shakin’ X-Mas”
Quiet Riot – “Mama Weer All Christmas Now”
Kix – “Cold Blood X-Mas”
Babylon A.D. - “Bang Go The X-Mas Bells”
Love/Hate (Featuring Jizzy Pearl) – “Blackout At The North Pole”
Bang Tango (Featuring Joe LeSte) – “21St Century Boy”
Vince Neil (Featuring Vince Neil) – “Another Wasted Christmas”


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