Friday, 3 December 2010

Free Download Friday #81: Poly Styrene - First Friday in Advent

It looks like last week's pre-advent Christmas download from Paul Simon (see Free Download Friday #80) is still active, so I guess the site that told me it was only going to be available for four days was wrong... which is excellent news. This means that you will get five Christmas themed Free Friday Downloads this year instead of four!

The first official Advent download though comes from Poly Styrene. If you are about my age, and from the UK, you might just recognise the name. She was the lead singer in X-Ray Specs in the mid to late seventies. Unfortunately, although I recognise the name, I am not familiar with her back catalogue. The problem is, when I was a teenager in the seventies, you could either like Punk or Rock... and I liked Rock.

It seems though that Ms Styrene is about to launch a new album and to whet our appetites, she is giving away a Christmas track that will not feature on her album. The track is called Black Christmas and you should be able to get it from this widget:

Or failing that, you can hear it streamed from the wonderful RCRD.LBL site:

And, you can also download it from the RCRD.LBL site.

It is a great track although the lyrics are quite dark in places:
I never knew a very merry Christmas
Santa Claus was a real bad guy
I’m dreaming of a Black Black Christmas
But the darkness is undercut by a the bouncing Reggae beat - try listening to it without bobbing your head! And if you turn up the volume, prepare to have your teeth rattled by the bass line.

Something Old

As well as giving a link to something new, I thought I'd link to something from last year that I didn't manage to feature. Or at least, this time, it's something I thought I'd missed last year. (See What a nightmare! I missed it.) In 2009, Nightmare Records gave away an album, or rather a double album, called Merry Metal Christmas, with more than two hours of free music. I thought I'd missed it but either, they've re-instated it or I was looking in the wrong place.

I am not a huge fan of the screaming "Wooorrrarrghh!" style of Metal but the tracks on this album are very much in the Melodic Metal mould and some are even a bit Progressive.

Although it is called Merry Metal Christmas, there are only three tracks that are Christmas themed. I guess the rest are Christmas presents rather than about Christmas. You have to download the lot because they come bundled together in two zip files but the three Christmas tracks are:
  1. Bethlehem by Theocracy
  2. Wicked Land of Winter by Sacred Dawn
  3. The Chronicles of Jacob Marley by Order of Nine
And all of them are jolly good. I did think Kings will Come by Narnia might have been about the journey of the Magi but it seems to be about kingdoms rising and falling instead and, despite not being a Christmas song, I think it is one of my favourites. Although most of the album is not really Christmassy, there is still good stuff there that will be worth listening to in January.

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