Sunday Times



The idea of Christmas not as a sentiment-soaked season of precision-bomb supermarket ads and ruinous household debt, but as an all but forgotten pre-Christian pagan ritual of ancient mysticism and bracing oddness, is explored on this wonderfully strange album. Standouts include the Count of Chateau Noir’s sinister, Bontempi-driven Awake Awake and Young Knives’ sepulchral Low Carol. Best of all are Aliens Pat’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Santa Fell Down the Chimney (the couplet is completed by “Broke his neck and died”, and that’s it), and the punky thrash of Jon Epworth’s raging, ramshackle Atheist. Alternative doesn’t even come into it.