Bad Religion

Greg Graffin, lead vocals of the L.A. punk band Bad Religion, performs at the Echo. Review: A rowdy, shaggy night for Bad Religion (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / January 23, 2013)

Ah Christmas, that idyllic time of year when families gather around the fire, don hokey reindeer sweaters and listen to their favorite Bad Religion albums.

Yep, the scenario is now a genuine option for yuletide merriment. L.A.'s favorite faith-antagonizing, science-riffing hard-core band has announced it's releasing an album of Christmas standards, "Christmas Songs," on Epitaph Oct. 29.

Just in time for Halloween!

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The band has long joked that it would pull this stunt, and after years of winking live holiday covers, it looks as if they've finally made good on the threat to make a record of them. The nine-song album will sport eight holiday standards, including "White Christmas" and "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," which promise to make excellent use of the band's famed multi-tracked harmonies.

A ninth track is a remix of the band's sinister single "American Jesus,"  which will definitely change the mood during your office's Secret Santa gift exchange.

Bad Religion is, of course, far from the first punk band to drolly tackle Christmas tunes (see the Ramones, Stiff Little Fingers, the Vandals and scores of others). Bad Religion has made a career out of needling Christianity in particular and theism in general -- but this proves America's most lyrically dense, thematically serious punk act still has a sense of humor.

Now pardon us while we whip up some mulled cider and go put "How Can Hell Be Any Worse?" on the turntable.

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