Dad Brains/Ramoms - Merry Xmas (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Dad Brains / Ramoms

Merry Xmas (2018)

Pirate's Press Records

I used to hate Christmas music. Even punk Christmas music. Maybe especially punk Christmas music. The lone exception was the Ramones’ “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”. I even have the green 5” Joey Ramone solo version that doubles as a Christmas tree ornament and was included in the deluxe version of his second solo album, ...Ya Know?. That track is reimagined here, and is a good entry point for the uninitiated. On paper, this is a match made in punk rock heaven. A dad themed hardcore band splitting a 7” record with a mom themed Ramones tribute band. The twist, for better or worse, is that they’re doing Christmas songs.

Dad Brains, who released their very solid self titled EP earlier this year, lead off the action. “It’s Christmas Time” is a clever song about the frustrations of the holidays, and is set to the tune of the Suicidal Tendencies classic “Institutionalized”. It even dares to replace that much desired Pepsi for LaCroix. “Grinch” is set to the music of a familiar hardcore song that I can’t quite put my finger on. I know I should know it. I’m sure you’ll know it when you hear it. Maybe it’s time for me to turn in my hardcore card, or maybe I’ve just been listening to too much punk Christmas music.

Ramoms are on the flip of this double A-side. “Lego Blocks” is set to the tune of the Dee Dee Ramone/Richard Hell drug standard “Chinese Rock”. It’s a song that you would want to avoid stepping on. To wrap things up we get the previously mentioned Ramones Christmas classic. Ramoms do a respectable, revved version of “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)”, although it’s hard not to miss Joey’s perfect, melancholy singing. There are multiple layers of novelty going on here, but both bands turn in fun tracks. This colorful little record will no doubt increase your holiday spirit.