Written by Johnny Papan
VANCOUVER PUNK BAND GETS IN THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT BY GIVING THE GIFT OF PUNK ROCK.
"T’was some nights before Christmas, and all through the town, no punk rockers were sad, not even one frown. Their heads were banging as this record spun round: A Gutter Pop Christmas Carol, they played that shit loud!"
Ahh, Christmas time. It’s a time to take a step back, relax, and appreciate the things you have in life. The Tarleks get in the Christmas spirit by taking one of the things they appreciate most, punk-rock, and gifting it to the world with their upcoming compilation record, A Gutter Pop Christmas Carol. It’s an explosive collection of familiar, family-friendly Christmas songs performed by punk bands all over the world, including some from Canada, the U.S.A., Japan, Austria, and more.
“I’m pretty obsessed with Christmas music. I just can’t get enough of it,” says the Tarleks' bassist and co-singer, Ken Insipid, the mastermind behind the holiday album. “There are so many cool rock and punk versions of Christmas songs, or new original Christmas carols, but so often, with the punk Christmas stuff, it tends to be more anti-Christmas, or so filled with profanity that you couldn’t actually play them to your family.”
Insipid pitched the idea of a family-friendly Christmas record to his friend Zac of Gutter Pop Records, based in St. Louis, Missouri. The Santa-sized 18-track compilation opens with a smashing cover of “O Holy Night” by Radio Buzzkills. Other featured bands include the well-known Chicago-based group the Vindictives, the McRackins, and Vancouver’s Electrojets playing songs like “Jingle Bells,” and “Frosty the Snowman,” as well as other holiday favorites. The Tarleks cover a deep Christmas cut with “O Come All Ye Faithful.”
“I wanted to pick a song that would translate well into the style we play,” says Insipid. “‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ really fit the bill. Honestly, once you strip down traditional Christmas carols, they are mostly three-chord punk songs anyway.”
A Gutter Pop Christmas Carol aims to be a go-to gift for the punk rocker in your life. It’s perfect for Christmas parties or listening to while gathered by the yuletide. If you’ve been a good little punk this year, maybe Santa will put a copy underneath your Christmas tree.
As for the Tarleks, aside from their very own copy of A Gutter Pop Christmas Carol, Insipid says the band hopes Santa will give them white belts, white shoes and plaid jackets for Christmas. Insipid is confident the Tarleks made it on Santa’s nice list:
“The three of us are too busy on sales calls to get into too much trouble, but there are some things that show up on MY naughty list. Billy is on the naughty list for refusing to wear his plaid jacket when we play, and for trying to sneak double kick into our pop songs. Numbnuts is on the naughty list for not paying attention when he’s drunk, meaning he never pays attention."
"I’m sure those guys have nothing bad to say about me and would put me not only on the nice list, but also on a pedestal," continues Insipid. "Well…. they may say I’m somewhat controlling, a bit of a Genghis Sean type. But hey, someone’s gotta keep things on track, right?”
Listen to A Gutter Pop Christmas Carol on Bandcamp