Hello locals, we meet again. It’s crazy to me how fast these months are flying; the holidays will be here before you know it! Once we get past Thanksgiving, it bolts! I feel like just yesterday we were talking about the beautiful summer weather, outdoor shows, and lying in the sand. I mean, honestly, the cold weather has really started creeping in! Well, I guess what they say is true: Time flies when you’re writing about local bands. Okay, they don’t say that, but it’s proven to be true! I love the holiday season and although everyone is running around like crazy people, there are always cool things happening such as benefits and fundraisers for people who need us the most. This year will be even harder than others in the past, considering so many lost their valuables in Superstorm Sandy. In fact, I’ve noticed more and more local bands out there even covering holiday songs and throwing their own twists on them. Holiday music is synonymous with the season and despite a comparatively small catalogue, there’s never a shortage of new Christmas albums being released every year. Some of us may get sick of it but for that one month we have to hear it, it’s not so bad. So, to stay with the holiday spirit, this week I am going to dabble on some dope bands that have done their part to spread joy and cheer.

First, let’s talk about a band you may be familiar with who I wrote about previously, The New Royalty. These guys are no strangers to the local scene, for I’m sure you’ve heard something that they either do or have done. Yes, they have their own material and it’s amazing, but they have also done something cool to bring them in the spotlight here again. I have come to notice that there isn’t anything that this group cannot do well, whether it’s covering Aerosmith or singing 30 Seconds To Mars. Back in August, The New Royalty released a Christmas album with 14 tracks, originals and classics, including “Jingle Bells,” “Run-Run Rudolph” and many more. However, “O Holy Night” keeps finding its way back into my ears. They decided to put their own take on the popular song and turn it into pop punk goodness. Okay, I must admit, Christmas music in itself is a niche, but many can take it one step further and do something very unique. Christmas albums sell well because they are either considered classics or they’re diverse enough from the classics for people to want to add them to their collection. So, this group did it right, attracted some attention from listeners of all styles, and found a way to make their Christmas album flagrantly different from most of what you hear during the holidays. They also released a lyric video along with the track, so all of you can sing along with them. I’m a fan of when people do this; that way I can pretend in my mind that I am actually a part of the band, just saying. I’ve heard many superstar vocalists cover this track including Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, and many more. In fact, they all did it originally and successfully. However, none of them put that youthful punkish vibe on it like Bree and the boys do. Be sure to check this track out, as well as the rest of The New Royalty’s album.

Now, pretend you’re bored, you live alone, nobody invited you to their holiday party, and no girl will get within 10 feet of your apartment; the last thing you want to hear are jingly carols shrieked out by happy singers. What you need is to hear jingly carols shrieked out by your favorite punk bands! So, on that note, let us touch on a pop punk band called Batten Down The Hatches, with members Johnny, Joey, Adam, Bryan, and Kevin, and their original track, “Santa Down The Hatches.” First of all, the title made me laugh out loud, as it’s awesome how they incorporated their brand with good old Saint Nick. Marketing gurus, I must admit. I love their exclusivity and sound, and this holiday tune is bound to be a hit. They make it fun with their own holiday twist. These guys go hard at everything they put effort into, and this proves just that. This isn’t your father’s Christmas music or even your little sister’s One Direction sugar plum fairy dream dancing in her head. An original holiday song seems like it would be difficult to come up with, but they proved me wrong. This track is recommended for people of all ages and fans of all genres. You can find this track on YouTube or on their Facebook page, and if this doesn’t warm your rock ‘n’ roll heart and make it beat heavily to the rhythm, call yourself a Scrooge.

Last but not least, lead singer of local band Only Living Boy, Joe Cirotti, wrote an original holiday tune called “Everyone Gets A Smile This Year.” First and foremost, I love the positive title. After all, it’s holiday time, and a smile is common; we all want world peace. His tone is beautiful with that raspy, whisky stricken sound along with the lyrics, and I watch it on YouTube over and over. Sitting alone with just his guitar in front of a Christmas tree, it reminds me how sometimes the most simple things in life can be the most powerful. It didn’t require any mixing or editing, just a video camera placed in front of him to make a masterpiece. His emotions come through in most of the band’s songs, but this one in particular really hit my heart. It has that real spirit of what music should be. If you get a chance, check out Joe’s original track. This is one I could picture myself sitting by the fire and drinking hot coco to with no lights on. All you need now is some mistletoe and wine; put them together and you have the ingredients for lewd behavior. Deck the halls!

These are just three of the many holiday tunes that local bands have either written, produced, covered, or completely changed up. It’s amazing when you pinpoint a band and their style, and they can come around with a holiday track and completely blow your mind! Who knows, maybe after reading this article you’ll be inspired to download these bands’ songs and give the gift that keeps on giving this year: music! After all, CDs and download codes do make great stocking stuffers, or items to exchange with your co-workers. When you need a break from a stressful holiday shopping this year, or just want to try out a new method to boost up your holiday spirits, listening to some of these bands’ music can completely change your mood or mindset. Keep submitting your holiday tunes, whether angry, sad, glad, or joyful, for there will be something for everyone!

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