Sweet Reaper “Holidaze” (2017)

Sweet Reaper cover

Burger Records
Buy: Bandcamp

I recently discovered that Seth Pettersen (who has been featured here before) is in yet another great indie rock/punk/garage band, this one known as Sweet Reaper. I’ve recently gone down the rabbit hole of all the affiliated bands of Sweet Reaper (Massenger, Franklin for Short, The Spires, VNLVX), and you know what, I liked them all. So it may be of no surprise that I’m also digging Sweet Reaper. The first proper record as a group, (if we don’t consider Seth’s solo record Sweet Reaper) is the nearly self-titled (hehe) Street Sweeper. Yes, wrap your heads around that one. On that record is this great, garage-punk holiday song, “Holidaze.” The vibe reminds me of the Moonhearts, and the lyrics are wonderfully standoffish.

NOBODYS HOME FOR THE HOLIDAZE
IF YOU’RE AROUND YOU MIGHT
FIND YOURSELF A BETTER WAY
TO GET YOUR MIND OFF
THE WINTERTIME
PACK YOUR BAGS FOR
ANOTHER STATE OF TIME

LYING IN MY BED
A BULLET IN MY HEAD
WHAT WAS THAT YOU SAID?
STAY AWAY AWAY AWAY FROM ME

I asked Seth about where this song came from, and to my delight, he responded! “The song is meant for people like myself who’s families don’t get together anymore and the magic of Christmas is gone. That time of year is always a bit melancholy for a lot of people so it’s based on that.” Dark, indeed, but come on, this IS Christmas Underground.

Now, while I could see the line “bullet in my head” as perhaps a little too much for some folks, especially considering the culture of violence we are living in… I remind you that this is figurative, not literal. It is still quite dark – it is meant to highlight the suicidal thoughts that loneliness at Christmas might bring, but not the act itself. Hopefully, that dulls the edges just enough to enjoy it.

Bottom Line: Should you need something to set a tone on your mix that suggests that this record is not going to be like the others they have heard, “Holidaze” may just fit the bill.

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Seth Pettersen “I Called You Last Christmas” (2014)

Seth Pettersen "I Called You Last Christmas"

Self Released / Burger Records
Buy: Bandcamp

The Burger Records’ crew is always churning out indie rock/garage rock Christmas tunes this time of year, and finally, Seth Pettersen has gotten in on the act! I really loved his 2012 release, Natural Machine, so I was pumped when I saw his song pop up on Burger’s Holiday playlist. It’s a simple song, Seth gets high, calls Sasha, gets the message. Perhaps done by anybody else, I wouldn’t enjoy it quite so much, but Seth is just great. I should be more academic, but I just really like Seth. Even if you don’t like this song, check out that link above for Natural Machine. I wore that cassette OUT.

Bottom Line: Seth Pettersen all up in your earholes. 4/4

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