HO HO WHO: The Shat himself, William Shatner. The artist best known as the OG James T. Kirk is back with a brand new album of his signature weird sung-spoken covers, but this time they’re Christmas songs! And bonus, each one is performed with a different collaborator! If you’ve ever wondered Shatner singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” with ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons, or him singing “White Christmas” with Judy Collins, sounds like, well, today’s your lucky fuckin’ day, friend, because that’s all included on—hell yeah—Shatner Claus. But the high point on the album is, without a doubt, Shat singing “Jingle Bells” with Mr. Henry Rollins.
ONE-HORSE OPEN SLAY: Rollins, best known as Black Flag‘s most notorious frontman and Ian MacKaye‘s BFF, brings his trademark tough guy grit to the track, by way of literally just yelling the chorus at you: “JINGLE BELLS/ JINGLE BELLS/ JINGLE ALL THE WAY/ OH WHAT FUN/ IT IS TO RIDE/ IN A ONE-HORSE OPEN SLEIGH!” I’ve never been so intimidated by holiday cheer before.
PLAY IT AGAIN, SHAT: “Jingle Bells” is objectively one of the worst Christmas songs. So it’s only natural that Shatner saw it fit to both open and close Shatner Claus with “Jingle Bells.” Yes, that’s right, if the obnoxiously traditional take on this ear-piercing holiday standard wasn’t enough to make you want to pierce your own eardrums with a sharpened candy cane, good news: there’s a “punk rock” version at the end of the album! It has 100 percent more power chords and 400 percent more Rollins yelling at you.
CHEER FACTOR: 3/10 for the first version, 6.9/10 for the “punk rock” version. It’s not naughty, but it is … nice.