Those interested in ’60s garage rock will by now have heard of The Sonics, with their blisteringly fast tracks full of buzzsaw guitars, guttural but stylized vocals and occasional saxophone. Lesser known Pacific Northwest garage rock bands are The Wailers and The Galaxies, both excellent groups. What we have here in the latest installment of The Dust Bin (Christmas edition) are three original Christmas tunes played in garage rock style.
The Sonics offering, “Santa Claus,” is pure vintage. Musically it could be any one of the songs from their discography, with the lyrics being the only give-away that it’s a Christmas tune. The Sonics offer up two other tracks, “The Village Idiot” and the cheekily-titled “Don’t Believe in Christmas”—both excellent. The latter of which reaches sublime heights when vocalist Gerry Roslie dismisses the holiday because he “didn’t get nothin’ last year” (sex).
The Wailers go for a more jangly, Dylan-esque vibe with “Christmas Spirit”, following that up with “Maybe This Year,” a beautiful piano-driven ballad, and “She’s Comin’ Home,” a track that is as near to perfection as any rock and roll tune ever written with its rhythm, guitars, vocal melody and harmonization. The Galaxies contributed four tracks: “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”, “Please Come Home For Christmas”, “It’s Christmas Eve” and “The Christmas Song.” Though not as as dangerous as The Sonics or as folksy as The Wailers, they adopt a Beatles-esque or Everly Brothers-stye approach to their Christmas songs, making the “Merry Christmas” LP a stylistically diverse recording.
Stream the tracks below (minus The Galaxies’ “The Christmas Song”).