Various Artists, ZE Christmas Album

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Disco-punk pioneers get in the Yuletide mood.

Aside from James White's reliably angular and bad-ass "Christmas With Satan," the additions to the 1981 ZE LP A Christmas Record included on this "reloaded" incarnation are marginal. But that doesn't diminish the best of the rest: The Waitresses contribute their second-most-familiar cut, "Christmas Wrapping," which delivers their sly, hooky humor but actually ends happily, while August Darnell's "Christmas on Riverside Drive" similarly compares to his swanky Kid Creole hits. Fueled by Detroit's crumbling economy, Was (Not Was)'s "Christmas Time in Motor City" swaps the usual seasonal fantasies for the dark humor of winter realism.