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Duvall - O Holy Night (Cover Artwork)

Duvall

Duvall: O Holy NightO Holy Night (2004)
Asian Man Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: danperroneDan Perrone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There isn't much to say about Christmas albums; they're either good or they're bad. We've seen our fair share of the bad, with numerous compilations thrown out just before the start of the holiday season with poor pop-punk Christmas anthems on them. To be honest, worthwhile traditional Christmas alb.
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There isn't much to say about Christmas albums; they're either good or they're bad. We've seen our fair share of the bad, with numerous compilations thrown out just before the start of the holiday season with poor pop-punk Christmas anthems on them. To be honest, worthwhile traditional Christmas albums by rock bands are a rare breed. Thankfully, Duvall has offered up a wonderful ten-track effort chock full of yuletide cheer.

The aptly titled O Holy Night features traditional Christmas songs rather than Christmas-influenced original songs (see: The Vandals' Oi to the World). Each song is performed in the trademark Duvall / Smoking Popes (Josh and Eli Caterer both played in the Smoking Popes) manner, with heavy influence on melody and harmonization. It's excellent rock music if I've ever heard it, not just throwaway punk riffs with flat Christmas lyrics over them. The music corresponds nicely with the traditional songs; you won't find some Me First And The Gimme Gimmies-esque simple punk rock riffs here. What puts the album over the top, however, are the vocals, done wonderfully by lead vocalist Josh Caterer, but not without help from brother Eli and drummer Rob Kellenberger, who also drums (or drummed) in Colossal, Tuesday, and Slapstick. Their three voices (with added vocals from a slew of guests) create a beautiful atmosphere for the songs, which in turn makes the songs sound even more Christmas-y and traditional. Had the vocals not been so strong, this album would not be nearly as good as it turned out to be.

Highlights include the stellar "Little Drummer Boy," "O Holy Night," and the opener, "Angels We Have Heard on High." The first song catches you off-guard for a moment, beginning with strictly vocals and harmonization, but then transforms into a rocking Christmas anthem. Another surprise to be found was "Oh Come All Ye Faithful," for it contains no music; just vocals. The song is nothing short of beautiful; you won't even notice that there is no music, for the band's voices are more than enough. Finally, the instrumental "Joy To The World" is probably the hardest-rocking track on here, and the omission of vocals allows for your own interpretation of the lyrics. Of course, you can always sing the traditional lyrics, but who doesn't love singing the grade-school favorite "Joy to the world, my teacher's dead - we barbecued her head!?" While listening to the entire album, I couldn't help but smile; that's when you know you've got a great piece of work on your hands.

Regardless of your religion, you should find more than a few enjoyable moments on O Holy Night. As far as Christmas albums go, it is undoubtedly one of the best I've ever heard. However, any fan of straight-up, no-bullshit rock music and excellent vocals should listen to this pronto. Even in the post-holiday, pre-January period, it's worth it.

Standout Tracks:
"Angels We Have Heard on High"
"Little Drummer Boy"
"O Holy Night"
"Oh Come All Ye Faithful"

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
assgoblin (January 25, 2007)

if you want to hear a good christmas song listen to "faintly falling ashes" by the lawrence arms

Anonymous (March 18, 2006)

Personally, I didn't enjoy all the songs on the album, but numbers 2 and 6 were enjoyable. Very much so.

As to what has been written above my own comment, I don't agree with at all. You don't have to go through a middle man to reach Christ; Christ is there for EVERYONE. Maybe you haven't been able to find the right place to get that. I know I'm going to get pushed aside and called a Jesus Freak or something else, but I am what I am, and I'm pretty proud of it.

I love being loved 24/7. I love knowing that even though I've fucked up, someone's there and can say that it's okay, I'm still wanted in their thoughts. That they would give their life for MINE, which I don't think is nearly as worthy as His, is incredible. And anyone that gives that message is all right with me, whether I like their voice or not.

Everyone's voices in songs are different; that's why there's so many people out there, so many different genres. Some people hate classical opera. Some hate rap. There's enough for everyone without having to get upset about it.

And honestly, if this is what upsets you the most, then you've got it pretty good.

If you don't like it, then don't like it. Simple as that. You putting your negative thoughts out there to make people pissed off isn't going to be doing anyone any good. It's thoughts and people like that that have made the world the sorry mess it is today. Not too sound like I'm quoting the 60's or the 90's, but DUDE. Please get over it. It's an ALBUM. And people are entitled to their own beliefs and opinions. That's what makes us different.

The two things we've got that same is that we've all made major mistakes (myself included). And the other thing is that no matter what we do, Christ still loves us and wants us to be with Him, like we're just as great and perfect as He is. Something I still can't get used to.

So any album that gives praise to the night we were given this fantastic person? That's good with me. And frankly, Christmas music needs a new beat every now and then.

God Bless,

~J

The_Wang (January 4, 2005)

I hate self righteous christians
I hate self righteous muslims
I hate self righteous jews
I hate self righteous agnostics
I hate self righteous atheists
but mostly i hate christmas songs

-the wang

Anonymous (January 3, 2005)

fuck this album. I want the smoking popes back

"Religion is the opiate of the masses" ~ K. Marx

Anonymous (January 3, 2005)

"The Bible is just some old book-- actually a compilation of several books. And the Bible has gone through the editing process several times. Guess who edited it? WHITE MEN. "

The truth is that whether you believe the bible to be true or not, it has actually not been changed (or gone through the editing process) over the years. There are different translations that you can buy based on the original text. Generations of scribes spent their entire lives making copies of the original manuscripts to maintain its integrity.

Do some research if you doubt it. You can still read the original text if you could read Hebrew.

Anonymous (January 3, 2005)

Jesus Saves: DICKS FOR DINNER!

Anonymous (January 3, 2005)

you telling me jesus christ cant hit a curveball?

Anonymous (January 2, 2005)

I didn't say the bible was "written to control people."

I will say now that THE BIBLE IS USED TO JUSTIFY ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING, therefore it's kind of a crowbar of control for anyone who feels like acting all "righteous." Ever notice, for example, how George W. Bush always invokes the name of "god" to justify his stupid fucking war, etc?

Most people (like you, apparently) are so conditioned to never question the Bible, that you'll bow down whenever a scriptural passage is used to justify anything. funny, you can usually find more than one passage which might be applied to a particular issue: And, more other than not, the passages are contradictory. For example, In one verse the bible will speak of a loving god and then there's another about a vengeful god who condems souls to hell.

Nobody has a soul, there is no god, there is no hell. And (to debunk another popular one) there ain't no Santy Clause.

The Bible is just some old book-- actually a compilation of several books. And the Bible has gone through the editing process several times. Guess who edited it? WHITE MEN.

Of course, someone will get on here and talk about how poor widdle Christians are misunderstood and misinterpreted.

Hey, I bet underneath all his dogma, Hitler was probably a nice and well-meaning guy-- just misunderstood and misinterpreted.

(The last sentence was supposed to be funny, and is an analogy. I just thought i should explain that lest it be questioned.)

I swear, people give the fucking Bible so much creedence it doesn't deserve. Someone will argue this with me till the cows come home I'm sure. The Bible is just some old book with a bunch of myths in it.

Anonymous (January 1, 2005)

When I read posts like this, it makes me realize just how much we (Christian's) really haven't done a good job of representing Jesus. I apologize. We need to spend more time loving on people. Regardless of whether or not you are a Christian, we as humans are broken (which isn't hard to see when you look around at the world). I hope that in the future that some of you can have better experiences with God. All he wants to do is have a relationship with us.

Regarding this album, it hardly left my cd player the past month. It was a nice break from the typical Christmas songs.

Anonymous (December 31, 2004)

"LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY: IT'S SEXIST and CHRISTIANITY HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN UTILIZED TO CONTROL PEOPLE, usually in favor of WHITE MEN. Religion is the opiate of the masses."

Idiot... Just because men used something to control people doesn't mean the thing itself is bad... Like communism. I think we can all agree that ideally, communism would be nice. But look at the history of it. Used to supress and uniform everyone...

And I'm far from a Christian... I'm not even into Jesus... But you can't say that the Bible was written to "controll" people. That's how it's misinterpreted.

-BSD

Anonymous (December 31, 2004)

"Judging everything about a person or group of people because what some people in their race or religion believe is ridiculous to me."

Look, if Duvall was just a band that only happened to have Christians in it, my judgment wouldn't be so harsh. Duvall is a band with a Christian AGENDA. If you don't believe this, go to their website. From there, you can also go to the website of Josh Caterer's church, where he is a well-paid youth minister. Josh's church has a sexist bias (women can not be spiritual leaders) and his church also has an anti-gay bias. Now, I doubt you could say that he's "just a member" and doesn't necessarily agree with the ideas espoused by the church he is a minister in.

Bottom line, Duvall's purpose is to convert people to Christianity, particularly their own sexist, patriarchal, anti-gay, anti-choice church's beliefs. Since they have a Christian agenda, it's fair to judge them as a Christian band and to say that they go along with the teachings of the church they are members of and, in Josh's case, a minister in.

They (Duvall) are not hiding the fact of what their purpose and agenda is. If they don't really believe in what they're preaching -- yes, PREACHING -- they certainly don't have any conviction whatsoever. If they don't believe in the Christian agenda, they're in it for the money. However, I think they SINCERELY believe every bit of their agenda. Therefore, they can be criticised for it.

Really, they are quite simply a Christian band with an obvious agenda. They don't hide it, why should you deny it? Why should Mike Park deny it?

vocalyouth (December 31, 2004)

Do you people realize that there are lots of christians who are loving and accepting of everyone and strongly disagree with many of the things that the church does?

Maybe not too many, but we do exsist. My roommate last year was gay for crying out loud, we're good friends and i have no problem at all with women being leaders in the church, maybe they could actually fix some things and shift things from being legalistic judgemental bullshit to focusing on learning and growing in your faith while loving everyone like Jesus did. You have to think about people as a whole... and most christians don't really do that,Ii guess, so I can sort of understand what you people are getting at.

At the same time, I don't think Duvall comes off to be the sexist pigs you label them as at all. Judging everything about a person or group of people because what some people in their race or religion believe is ridiculous to me. Obviously Mike Park knows this too, or else he wouldn't have put it out, and people who say he just did it to cash in on Christian rock apparently know nothing about Asian Man.

Also, Asian Man put out a 7 inch with Five Iron Frenzy long long ago and still sell FIF merch, I never saw anyone bitching about that. Or the Mu330 Christmas album they put out a few years ago.

theundergroundscene (December 31, 2004)

You guys have totally got your panties in bunches.

Crookedsuperhero (December 31, 2004)

MU330 put out a Christmas album.

Anonymous (December 30, 2004)

Christianity is garbage. So is Islam. So is Judaism. Religion equals cults, hate, bigotry, and genocide. Oh, Christian or not, Duvall sounds garbage too. To the idiot who compared Radiohead and the Popes on equal ground, you are fucking insane. But this is ok as poor judgement is now considered the norm.

Fuck the red states

theevilmonkey (December 30, 2004)

You people PMS too much.

boba_fett (December 30, 2004)

and no, i dont like duvall and i dont like this album.

boba_fett (December 30, 2004)

woah. christianity in the states must be pretty fucked up for all you folks to hate it so.

im christian, i wont hide it. minus 100000 punk points. but just 'cause im christian doesnt mean im racist, sexist, homophobic or white.

WASP hating is the new cool.

Anonymous (December 30, 2004)

"Its funny how all the "open minded, free thinking" kids on this board get so pissed off over the beliefs of someone else; to each his own kids... you don't see me tearing you down. The fact that most of you use only generalizations and logic of a 12 year old to defame Christianity is pretty sad. You should at least learn what it is really is before declaring it "sexist" or "controlling." Why don't you research what the Bible says rather than what some religion founded by man has to say on the issue."

Why the fuck would I want to research a 3,000 year old book that's rife with conflicting information and myth?

The Bible was written by men, idiot. "God" didn't write the bible.

I know what the church has done historically. I know what the political stance of the church has been.

Anonymous (December 30, 2004)

I like Jawbreaker and The Smoking Popes about even.

Anonymous (December 30, 2004)

Once again, people are falling all over themselves to make apologies for Christianity. ADMIT IT, historically, Christianity has been used to opress people and favors men: white men. I don't care what might be "in the hearts" of "true Christians," I'm talking about what the church has done as an institution. This is not the "generalization of a 12 year old,' it's just how it is. See The Crusades, the church's stand against gays, the opposition of women's rights, many churches (including Josh caterer of Duvall's) insistence on male leadership, use of the scripture to rationalize slavery, the use of scripture to rationalize war... The list goes on and on.

My comment, "if Jawbreaker got back together and made an album about how great donald Rumsfeld is" (or whatever I said) is an analogy: I don't care how great the music is if the message is wrongheaded. I thought Jawbreaker was a band from the same era of the Smoking Popes, hence the analogy. That said, Jawbreaker was a better band than the 'Popes.

Christianity is stupid. And Duvall's Christmas album is lame shit.

corpseofmymotivation (December 30, 2004)

"Funny, in every Asian man release there's something about how the label won't release racist or sexist music. While Duvall might not be outwardly sexist, the religion they embrace certainly is. "

This confused me too. Mike Park means well, and the only logic I see behind it was him being a big Smoking Popes fan and not wanting to turn down a band because of their religion.

PS - Asian Man put out some great non-ska stuff from the likes of Alkaline Trio, The Broadways, Tuesday, and The Lawrence Arms (there are more, but they don't really matter).

shraps (December 30, 2004)

Its funny how all the "open minded, free thinking" kids on this board get so pissed off over the beliefs of someone else; to each his own kids... you don't see me tearing you down. The fact that most of you use only generalizations and logic of a 12 year old to defame Christianity is pretty sad. You should at least learn what it is really is before declaring it "sexist" or "controlling." Why don't you research what the Bible says rather than what some religion founded by man has to say on the issue. True Christianity and all of those religions are often very different.

-shraps

lou (December 30, 2004)

"Fuck, if jawbreaker got back together and recorded an album about how great Donald Rumsfeld is I'd say that sucked too."

...i'm confused by this analogy.

sickboi (December 30, 2004)

Brav-fucking-o.

Anonymous (December 30, 2004)

How could ANYONE, especially someone on a "punk" site, categorize Christian music as "straight up, no bullshit rock?"

Christianity is synonymous with bullshit, as is Duvall.

Asian Man should be ashamed to release this. Then again, all they ever release is turgid ska crap from a decade ago and Mike Park's well-meaning but infinitely boring, tepid solo stuff. In his music, park claims to be all about multiculturalism and tolerance. Maybe he's been duped.

I guess Asian Man is just cashing in on the Contemporary Christian music thang.

Funny, in every Asian man release there's something about how the label won't release racist or sexist music. While Duvall might not be outwardly sexist, the religion they embrace certainly is. Furthermore, if you look at the website of the church where Josh Caterer is a "youth minister" or some shit, you can see their policy about how ONLY MEN are fit to lead spiritually. The church also openly states that homosexuality is wrong.

LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY: IT'S SEXIST and CHRISTIANITY HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN UTILIZED TO CONTROL PEOPLE, usually in favor of WHITE MEN. Religion is the opiate of the masses.

At first I might have thought Caterer & Co. had been "opiated." Now I think they're just part of the established hierarchy, singing the corporate tune of God, Inc.

And they've sure taken advantage of Mike Park. Maybe Mike should rethink this.

sickboi (December 30, 2004)

Christianity does suck a fat one. Any religion that makes you go through a "middle man" for spiritual enlightment can get fucked.

Personally, I'm Agnostic, but Buddhism is the closest organized religion to "getting it right".

Anonymous (December 30, 2004)

Christianity is a stupid, sexist, patriarchal religion. I don't care if some of Duvall's members used to be in a merely decent band, The Smoking Popes. Fuck, if jawbreaker got back together and recorded an album about how great Donald Rumsfeld is I'd say that sucked too. Really, Christianity and Christmas are ridiculous. Furthermore, Christmas songs suck. I don't care how well-played or well-sung this shit is, it still stinks. What a goddamned shame to see there turds stooping so low. Hey, I suppose they want to cash in any way they can. It makes me sick to see all y'all giving lip service to Christianity on this board. Face it, CHRISTIANITY IS STUPID. Worse than stupid, Christianity is yet another tool of societal control utilized by whitey. Even if "O Holy night" had the greatest music ever recorded on it (it doesn't), it should not be championed as being a good album or whatever. Really, bad lyrics make this a bad album. This band just gets worse and worse, and they never were that good to begin with. It continually amazes me how people here in Chicago cling to the notion that these guys have any credibility whatsoever.

Bottom line, "O Holy Night" is certainly not 'punk,' and it ain't rock'n'roll either. And it sucks.

Anonymous (December 30, 2004)

Chinatown är som Max i "Svensson,Svensson" fast tio gånger värre alltså en odräglig snorunge!

"Hujeda mig sånt barn han var ej värre tänkas kan!"

HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!

VAFAN ?R DET D?R F?R J?VLA STOLPSKOTT?! VART ?R ARNE WEISE?

Anonymous (December 30, 2004)

Agreed/

Anonymous (December 29, 2004)

the concept of "punk" bands, or any band for that matter, doing a christmess album is simply dumb-founding. Why? Haven't we heard these stupid songs enough? And furthermore, fuck off to bands that make x-mas albums and then feel the need to "re-interpret" the vocal lines and melodies....i don't need a fucking jazz-scat solo over "Frosty the fucking snowman" for fucks sake.

theevilmonkey (December 29, 2004)

Radiohead beats this shit anyday.

"This CD, and any other CD with Josh Caterer on vocals is awesome! Josh actually has one of the best voices in rock, not some lame screaming like Atreyu or whining like Radiohead. Josh is underrated & the SMOKING POPES RULED!"

Anonymous (December 29, 2004)

The truth is seldom any good though!

Anonymous (December 29, 2004)

Not very good.

Anonymous (December 29, 2004)

Chinatown är som Max i "Svensson,Svensson" fast tio gånger värre alltså en odräglig snorunge!

"Hujeda mig sånt barn han var ej värre tänkas kan!"

Anonymous (December 29, 2004)

"Why does Chinatown think he's amusing? He makes some stupid comment that's not remotely funny on every post obviously thinking he's come kind of comedic genius and just comes across as a total prick."

Most of the comments by him now a days are not by him but people who are trying to seem funny.

Anonymous (December 29, 2004)

Your right, I do suck (so do the bands I listen to).

-Chinatown

Anonymous (December 29, 2004)

This CD, and any other CD with Josh Caterer on vocals is awesome! Josh actually has one of the best voices in rock, not some lame screaming like Atreyu or whining like Radiohead. Josh is underrated & the SMOKING POPES RULED!

Anonymous (December 29, 2004)

Why does Chinatown think he's amusing? He makes some stupid comment that's not remotely funny on every post obviously thinking he's come kind of comedic genius and just comes across as a total prick.

corpseofmymotivation (December 29, 2004)

Yeah, but that wasn't so bad. Go to Duvall's FAQ section. It's pretty much Josh saying "all the shit I did in the Popes mean nothing, and everything I ever wrote for them is invalid according to my new religion." It's bullshit.

-CorpseOfMyMotivation

irish_joo (December 29, 2004)

you do realize that he did religious songs with the Popes right?

Anonymous (December 29, 2004)

Fuck Duvall and fuck born-again Christianity for brainwashing Josh Caterer and taking him away from the Popes. Give me the Smoking Popes over this nonsense anyday.

-CorpseOfMyMotivation

Anonymous (December 28, 2004)

Chinatown sucks.

Anchors (December 28, 2004)

I almost bought a movie with Robert Duvall in it today, forget what though. And I always fucking confuse him with Paul Newman.

xmidipunkbastardx (December 28, 2004)

i just can't get over the lyrics.

and over the fact that probably every duvall song i heard was damn boring...

Crookedsuperhero (December 28, 2004)

I meant to buy this, but i forgot.

Thats todays story.

Anonymous (December 28, 2004)

Chinatown = D-Bag

theundergroundscene (December 28, 2004)

Sorry, I submitted it at noon on Christmas Eve, and the reviews were already up :-/

Anonymous (December 28, 2004)

This album brings me close to Jesus!

-Chinatown

Inspection12e (December 28, 2004)

a little late but a great cd no matter what.

-i12e

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