Thrashing through the snow

A Grinch-worthy holiday mix celebrating Santa’s seamy underbelly

Yeah, yeah, we know Dasher and Dancer, but sometimes all the chirpy holiday cheer is as hard to keep down as Aunt Ruth’s fruit cake. Those of you who occasionally identify with Mr. Grinch and yearn for a musical “Bah humbug!” are not alone. From a screaming metal maniac to a drunkard troublemaker in Santa gear, here’s a posse of party crashers that represent the worst of the season … which is precisely why we love them so much.

Song: “Slick Nick, You Devil You”
Artist: Fishbone
Sample lyric: “Slick Nick, you’re a devil … cursin’ and coughing and playing punk rock, and every once in a while you just scratch your jock.”

It seems apropos that Fishbone, a band of reefer-huffin’, hard-rock lovin’ black dudes, should have an unusual take on the holidays, but when Kris Kringle blunders down the chimney covered in tats and holding a bottle of Jack, it’s an anti-Christmas anthem. Here, Slick Nick knocks over the Christmas tree, steals the TV and spray paints the image of a hand making an especially non-holiday gesture over the fireplace. But, hey, at least he leaves a bottle of Mad Dog in our stocking.

Song: “No Presents for Christmas”
Artist: King Diamond
Sample lyric: “Tom and Jerry are still drinking sherry, they don’t give a damn. I’m dreaming of a white Sabbath.”

This little ditty starts off innocently enough with a chipper medley of Christmas chestnuts, but about 30 seconds into it King Diamond—widely regarded as death metal’s finest howler—lets loose a shriek readymade to replace visions of dancing sugar plums with horrific, blood-soaked nightmares. With a punishing rhythm, blistering guitar solos and nonsensical tirades, King Diamond might be the most frightening Grinch of all.

Song: “I Hate Christmas Parties”
Artist: Relient K
Sample lyric: “These holidays won’t be wonderful. I look under the tree but there’s nothing to see.”

You might expect the Christian boys of Relient K to sing about the reason for the season, but all the Prozac-laced candy canes in Santa’s workshop wouldn’t brighten this yule-themed downer. What’s more, the band’s wimpy piano-driven wallowing could make Richard Marx sound like Conan the Destroyer. Pass the eggnog.

Song: “Christmas with the Devil”
Artist: Spinal Tap
Sample lyric: “There’s someone up the chimney hole, and Satan is his name.”

In an interesting interpretation of the holiday’s religious traditions (not to mention a clever anagram) Spinal Tap casts the other man in red in this rat-infested Christmas S&M story. To get on the guest list for the mock-metal party, all you have to do is sell your soul to the devil and enter hell—not unlike the scene this time of year at the Arden Fair Mall.

Song: “Grandpa’s Last Xmas”
Artist: The Vandals
Sample lyric: “This might be grandpa’s last Christmas. Soon he might be dead, so be nice.”

Nothing makes the Christmas cookie crumble faster than a sneering, punk-rock death wish. In this brilliantly nasty tune the Vandals get stuck hanging out with their smelly, mean-spirited grandpa for another year, and they hope it’s the old codger’s last.

Song: “Merry Muthafuckin’ Xmas”
Artist: Eazy-E
Sample lyric: “Merry Christmas, muthafucka! [sound of gunshots]”

In his, ahem, unique style, the famously foul-mouthed rapper reinterprets well-cherished holiday tunes with situations that would make even the naughtiest little elves blush. If you thought Santa’s suggestion for where to sit was a bit lascivious, wait until you hear about presents he wants to deliver.