Nim Chimpsky "Avocado for Christmas"

Nim Chimpsky “Avocado For Christmas” (2016)

Self Released
Buy: Free!

I just learned something about Nim Chimpsky. I thought that their band name was a clever, chimp-themed play of Noam Chomsky, but alas, Nim Chimpsky is a famous chimpanzee (and yes, also clever play on Noam Chomsky) who took part in language acquisition studies at Columbia for decades, and passed away in 2000. I learned something new because I had to work to find this band’s website, and someday I may need that nugget of information in a conversation. It’s gonna be amazing. Now, back to the music. Our present-day Nim Chimpsky are a wonderful female duo from Coventry, UK, and they have gifted us a fantastic, somewhat cheeky new Christmas song, “Avocado for Christmas.” The song is about calling your grandma at Christmastime. “Grandma didn’t live through the war / but is prepared to tell you nonsense.” Hehehe. As with a good number of songs, I honestly can’t decipher all the lyrics, but I dig the music, dig the attitude, and just plain found it lots of fun. Clocking in at not even a minute, Nim Chimpsky are adhering to the essential Christmas music tenant of “don’t wear out your welcome, and keep them wanting more,” that I am always espousing to whoever will listen. There are way too many songs that would be good if you chopped off a minute or two… and Nim Chimpsky nip that in the bud right away. It’s like a tasty, tasty snack.

Bottom Line: Nim Chimpsky have snuck onto my Soundcloud feed and into my heart with their short burst of Christmas fun, and their free WAV download!

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dz deathrays

DZ Deathrays “Lonely This Christmas” (2014)

Too Pure
Buy: Soon?

I knew I should have posted this days ago when it had 5 plays on Soundcloud – Blast! Kudos to you Christmas A Go Go! Australian punk/garage rock band DZ Deathrays‘ cover of Mud’s “Lonely This Christmas” appears to be one of (perhaps two) the seasonal selections from the Too Pure Records singles club (which after last year’s fantastic release, may raise expectations). They definitely rock the hell out of the song. This will certainly fit the bill for some punk/pop-punk Christmas music fans out there.

Bottom Line: Not quite there for my personal tastes, but remember, I’m a bit twee. 3/5

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Converse Noise to the World

Noise to the World: Converse Rubber Tracks Holiday Music (2013)

Converse Rubber Tracks
Buy: Free!

How did this thing slip by me? And how did this slip by my fellow Christmas bloggers? This would be like missing the Target comp of years ago, in that it is packed with “indie” bands with a  large corporate backer – so how did it make a noise in a few music publications but never come across my googling? Noise to the World is seven tracks of varying styles, but all with a certain level of quality where I don’t hate anything – it’s truly listenable. As an added bonus – there appear to be vinyl copies of this out there somewhere.

We’ll run down the release track-by-track, as it is a short release and each one is worth a note. Roxy Roca offers a funky original that elicits the imagery of a picturesque Christmas, but not without you. Warm Soda (the band that really made me excited to hear this) mines the same fertile ground of Roxy Roca, and many bands before, with their “Without You By My Side.” Their power-pop delivery takes the melancholy lyrics and lifts it up enough with the music to not feel like a dirge. The two songs are so similar in their main thesis, yet so very different in the approach, tone, lyrics and delivery that the only thing that ties them together is “without you.”

Fresh Daily and Black Spade contribute a surprisingly strong Christmas rap song with “Holiday ’93.” I don’t normally get into a hip-hop holiday, but this track is not only enjoyable and is perhaps the best song on the record. They don’t make it a joke, like so many other Christmas rap songs, and their attitude and lyrics strike me as very much in genuine & nostalgic vein of Ahmad’s “Back in the Day,” which is very welcome.

Mother Merey & the Black Dirt take the holiday staple, “Run Run Rudolph,” and deliver a wonderful, country-noir song that is just downright refreshing. They make it their own.

Workout’s “Jingle Bells” is the most-skippable track on the release for me, for two reasons. First, Jingle Bells. Second, pop-punk is just not my bag. However, they become very listenable by exuding a sense of humor about the whole thing, and being so damn short. Kudos.

The She’s “December Tide” is another in a recent wave (pun!) of surfin’ tunes. I can’t recall such a melancholy surfing Christmas (well, winter) tune in a very long time. This song is the kind of indie-pop that I’m quite receptive to, and would gnaw at any pop-punk fan… we are just different species, you and I. I especially like the end of the song, with the layering of the vocals… if you are a frequent reader of this blog, you know how much I love a good ending.

Finally, Low Fat Getting High’s “Deck the Halls” will please the headbanger in you. They do “Deck the Halls” hardcore and fully commit. Not normally my thing, but oddly, not unlistenable. Had it ended at 1:40, I would have liked it a bit more.

Bottom Line: Wow. Pretty excellent all the way through. Free, with super-high-res MP3 download. Quite listenable and at times downright fantastic. Pleasantly surprised, and certainly recommended. 4.4/5

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