Nerf Herder - High Voltage Christmas Rock (Cover Artwork)

Nerf Herder

High Voltage Christmas Rock (2000)


With Christmas rapidly approaching, it seems like an appropriate time to revisit an old Yuletide favourite. Nerf Herder's High Voltage Christmas Rock was released in 2000, in between the solid How To Meet Girls album and the patchy My E.P.. The crudely drawn cover, a snowman with an extra carrot that isn't for his nose, perfectly fits the contents: irreverent pop-punk with a festive twist. The back cover proudly proclaims that it was "recorded while drunk", which is easy to believe.

Four songs (three originals and a 30-second thrash through "Deck The Halls") and three mercifully brief "banter" tracks fly by in eight minutes. Opener "I've Got A Boner For Christmas" is both the dumbest and the catchiest song on here. Full of the juvenile humour you might expect given its title, it probably helps if you can mentally regress to an age when words like cock, butt and boner were intrinsically funny. A better recorded version showed up on My E.P. the following year.

"Santa Has A Mullet" raises a chuckle or two as it invokes the image of Santa "jamming to Foghat and drinking Coors Light", and throws in some "fa la la"s for that authentic Christmassy feel. "I Know What You're Getting For Christmas" is a devastating indictment of the widening gap between rich and poor in America, and the ways in which the festive season serves to highlight this dichotomy. OK, it's not quite, but this is Nerf Herder. If you're looking for incisive social commentary you've come to the wrong band.

It may be by-the-numbers pop-punk, but Parry Gripp and co certainly know their way around a melody. It's far from vintage Nerf Herder and the recording quality isn't great, with Steve Sherlock's drums sounding especially tinny, but that's to be expected from a tossed off joke record. Is it as entertaining now as it was 14 years ago when I was a teenager? No. Am I ever likely to listen to it between the months of January and November? No. In fact, before this week I'd forgotten I even owned it. But it can still raise a smile, and I'll happily give it another eight minutes of my life next December.