Alright, I can admit now that I've made it through the duration of One Bent Christmas that I was having some serious issues with doing this cd. One of the players is a friend, and one who I would have no problem savaging, as I am a dick and he's a pretty serious music academian. Plus I worked a ten hour day and turned off YouTube Footage of Robert Cray and John Hiatt doing Sam and Dave covers to listen, so suffice to say that an album of Christmas music done by anyone other than Randy Newman (yes, I know) or, to be fair, Twisted Sister, is going to pale in comparison. Oh, and I fucking hate Christmas music. I will stand firm in my personal code of journalistic credibility: call a spade a spade, unless of course you are a girl I want to kiss, in which case I will pretty much lie my stupid face off. These guys aren't that pretty.
One Bent Christmas is a collaboration between four old friends that also happen to be audio professionals and musicians. In the interest of more internet hits, let's call the guilty parties thusly (and alphabetically): Matt Cullen, Justin Matley, Bill Mueller, and Michael Reidy. It features seven tunes, four of them with vocals and three instrumental standards.
So let's break One Bent Christmas down:
It opens with Back Door Santa, which I would prefer never to hear again. It's not nearly as lewd as you would think and that may be to it's disadvantage. Well played, but I've got Ergs records to listen to.
Next is Jingle Bells. It's instrumental. They can play. Nuttin For Christmas comes next, with Justin Matley dropping a little Hoagie Carmichael (up an octave) holiday science. Not, I'm obligated to point out, a cover of the x-rated classic from Blowfly.
Hey! More instrumentals: Silent Night and Sleight Ride. Both instrumental, one traditionalish the other not. Download it and see which one is which. They, uh, can play.
Now next is Lost In My Day. That is a seriously good song and kind of a curve ball for me, frankly. I don't hear any direct connection between the song and Christmas, but it's a nice reward for making it this far. That said, it really is a great tune. Matley sings that one, with some help from a lady. That song really deserves some notice outside of the arena of a Christmas record.
The closer is what may be a solo guitar version of Auld Lang Syne, but I almost broke my keyboard I hit the space bar so hard. I'd avoid that track and play #6 again.
One Bent Christmas is available for free via download here. Check out the various parties via their links above.