Album Review :
Kevin and the Octaves - Hang Your Stocking Start The Rocking

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Artist: Kevin and the Octaves
Album: Hang Your Stocking Start The Rocking
Reviewer: Tyler Hess

Finally, the joyous celebration of the uniting two of my best friends, Christmas and pop-punk.  Let us have a riotous good time, shall we?

Let’s face it, most of us have heard some songs so many times and so unoriginally and boring that it makes us a wee bit sick.  Some of these songs are my least favorite Christmas songs, yet with the energy and new direction they are taken I find myself shouting along with songs that would normally have me letting out a big fat groan and an eye roll that causes minor earthquakes.

The disc (that’s right, disc, for those of us who still love them) starts off with the cute “Up on the house top”, which begins a steady flow of songs that consist of mostly retread songs, yet with a faster pace.  This is followed by “O come all ye faithful”, as this album quickly shows that they will go back and forth between santa type songs and oh yea Jesus Christ was born and that is why we have this holiday songs.  One of my favorite songs comes up next, but it isn’t the best done song on the album, as it kind of loses the original flavor of “Joy to the World”.  See, I’m hypocritical, aren’t I?  Love the stuff they did with what I didn’t like before, bummed that they didn’t do the songs I already liked correctly.  Chances are you might be the same way.  Don’t screw up what we like, but feel free to make something lame into something not so lame.  Ah, fickleness, I have it.

Next we have a song I sang in 7th grade choir, so the fact that it is good is shocking, because I am sure remedial choir butchered “winter wonderland”.  Maybe they are auditioning for next year’s Stellar Kart led “punk the halls tour” as they come out with a fun version of “deck the the halls”, marking the first time I have sang “Fa La La La La La La La” without wanting to punch myself.  White Christmas follows as probably the closest to the original in the batch.  After that, well, I dare you to sing “Jingle Bells” all the way through without chuckling at least a little bit and not just because of the “Batman Smells” version you sang as a kid (or young adult).

The album closes STRONG with three of the best Christ-centered Christmas (shouldn’t that be redundant?) songs available in mass quantities, with “angels we have heard on high”, silent night and o holy night” and the one song I didn’t know before, “Christmas without you”.

This is a fun disk, especially if you want to insert some pop-punk into the season.  Playing it five times in a day might drive you mad, but if you need something to play at a Christmas party and you don’t want people to fall asleep to the music this is a good selection.  One last thing…much like the phenomenon that was Hootie and the Blowfish, there is no Kevin or Octaves in this band.

Score: 8/10

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