To expedite the process of getting into the holiday spirit with a bit of an edge, LA Guns, the version that features Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis have dropped a five song, digital EP titled Another Xmas in Hell through Frontier Music s.r.l.
The EP features covers of holiday classic tunes from Slade, The Damned, The Ramones and Billy Squier featuring William Shatner of Star Trek fame plus a brief, six second track titled “Dreidel”.
The first track titled “The Bills” comes from a cover of Squier’s “Christmas is A Time To Say I Love You” and an answering machine message left for the band from Shatner. The Star Trek legend extends an invite to the Gunners for a drink or two at the Rainbow to discuss setlists.
He proceeds to make his case on behalf of the fans for the “Ballad of Jayne,” the great set opener “No Mercy,” “Electric Gypsy” and “Sex Action,” a personal favorite of the Captain’s. The rambling message continues by lobbying to have “Wheels of Fire” and “Over the Edge” put into the setlist as well.
According to “Captain Kirk”, the meeting up at the Rainbow would also be a good time to discuss the upcoming Christmas release. He concludes the voice message by singing lyrics from “Sex Action”. At this point the track segues into the Squier cover.
The inclusion of Shatner’s voice message to the band is just pure fun. Visualizing Shatner and LA Guns sitting around a table at the Rainbow would be an instant, classic image.
Bringing in more of a rawness to the holiday themed EP, LA Guns thrown down a brisk version of The Damned’s “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause” and a respectable and honorable version of The Ramone’s “Merry Christmas” (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight) from the band’s 1989 release title Brain Drain.
The highlight of the disc isn’t Shatner’s voice or covers of The Ramones and The Damned. It’s the fantastic cover version of Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody”. Not only is the Slade cover just a great holiday tune with a fun chorus and catchy melodies, it’s a number that’s guarantee to put a smile on any face within listening distance.
Lewis’s voice is an ideal fit for Slade frontman / vocalist Noddy Holder’s. It’s a genius cover that should make Slade proud of a song that was released as a non-single in 1973. It’s a tune that has stood the test of time and Slade fans would approve.
Obtaining a copy of the digital EP is worth the purchase just to have the Slade cover in a personal playlist. It’s just that good.