Arts Desk

The Sleigher: Heartless Bastards, “Blue Christmas”

HO HO WHO: Twangy Ohio rockers Heartless Bastards deliver the kind of melancholy ditty you'd usually find buried on a Saddle Creek sampler circa 2004. So that makes the band a fightin' candidate for Hear Music/Concord Music Group’s Holidays Rule compilation, a collection of somewhat gloomy holiday standards performed by an all-star lineup of folky Americana acts, twee indie bands, and, for some reason, Paul McCartney.

YULETIDE YEARNING: Anchored by singer and guitarist Erika Wennerstrom’s woeful crooning, The Heartless Bastards' take on the sad-sack-on-Christmas anthem remains pretty faithful to the version Elvis Presley popularized in 1964. Unlike Michael Bublé’s forcibly cheery Dixieland version, and She & Him’s insufferably twee interpretation—both popular, according to Spotify and iTunes—the Bastards retain its vintage country sound, keeping the slow, ballad-like pacing and even throwing in a slide-guitar solo.

FIFTY SHADES OF GLOOM: Somehow, Wennerstrom and Co. actually manage to make the original downer holiday anthem even more depressing with this by-the-book cover that makes you sleepier with every subsequent listen.

CHEER FACTOR: 2/10. If the original wasn’t enough to make you want to drown your sorrows in eggnog and mulled wine, this drowsy cover isn’t going to pull you out of Grinchdom.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Comments are closed.

Comments Shown. Turn Comments Off.