Dude York - Half Time for the Holidays - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Dude York - Half Time for the Holidays

by Nathan Fidler Rating:4 Release Date:2017-11-24
Dude York - Half Time for the Holidays
Dude York - Half Time for the Holidays

By now you’ve probably already complained to numerous people that shops are playing Christmas songs, but you’re just going to have to face it. It’s not all bad though, because as it turns out, there are alternatives to the standard fare - with the Christmas canon being restocked each year by at least a couple of bands. This year it’s the turn of Seattle punk-pop rockers Dude York, with Half Time for the Holidays.

Things kick off reasonably well with ‘Break Up Holiday’ a chipper tune about not wanting to see you ex at social functions, referencing seasonal affective disorder and the niceties you might have to endure. But this isn’t an album full of anti-Christmas songs, as ‘My Favourite Part (Of This Time of Year)’ shows, with slowly chopping guitars and a distorted chorus.

Despite the muffled hint of some jingle bells hidden within certain songs, you probably wouldn’t actually know this is a Christmas album if you were hearing it in passing. With lead vocals switching between male and female, west coast guitars and a lazy layer of fuzz, it’s only by paying attention to the lyrics in tracks like ‘True Meaning’ to find the joy of the season.

Ok, so ‘Jingle Bells Rock’ and ‘Silent Night’ are obviously Christmas songs, but they’ve been pop-punked and there is no sugary-sweet treats in sight. In fact, there are few treats at all. The delivery of some of the vocals is ropey at best, and with such slow tempos you don’t really get the benefit of added pep for such songs.

Even if you’re seeking out Christmas music which doesn’t actually sound like Christmas, you probably wouldn’t want to put this record on. It’s not because Dude York are a terrible band, it’s just because there is not much to like about a band stuck between mocking and serious - it lacks bite, cheer and originality. ‘Long Distance Christmas’ is about as real as things get, providing a relatable, human, but well crafted song, the only one which leaves you longing for some more biting festive music.

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