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HO-HO-WHO?: Toronto’s Fucked Up, the often unprintable critical darlings who have dominated year-end best-of-lists with the audacious punk epic David Comes to Life.
YEAR OF THE REINDEER: Fucked Up is no stranger to the Christmas single, proving that the ferocious band has a heart—-this year’s split 7-inch with Sloan will benefit COUNTERfit Harm Reduction Program and the Barriere Lake Legal Defense Fund—and a sense of humor since, in 2009, they released an all-star cover of the Bob Geldof earworm “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” In defiance of Fucked Up’s increasingly outsized ambition—-what with the double-album rock operas and all—-this year they settled on the “Rise Above” of Christmas songs, “Jingle Bells.”
NO EPIPHANY: As of press time, video of the band performing “Jingle Bells” on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations holiday special has been “removed by the user” and the limited edition 7-inch will be sold exclusively at the band’s upcoming benefits in Toronto, making this cover somewhat elusive unless you (or, in my case, my fiancee) DVRed the show. That said, actively seeking out a cover of “Jingle Bells” done in the key of throaty hardcore should not be a priority. Trust me: It sounds exactly how you’d think.
HOLIDAY CHEER FACTOR: 8/10 While its rendition of “Jingle Bells” might not warrant inclusion on your annual Christmas mix, kudos to Fucked Up for spreading good will towards (wo)men this holiday season.