The distortion that is present on the first tracks of “Songs For The Christmas Party”, specifically “A Memo for All Rock Journalists”, fights with the vocals to establish the dominant force during the disc. The distortion eventually wins out, but individuals can hear what is being played pretty clearly. The style of music that Killer Squirrel plays is something that is straight forward and punk as fuck at some point; when the band kicks into tracks like “Don’t Blame Me, Thank Your Parents” there is little more going than a guitar and a set of drums.
There are not solos, not hardcore breakdowns but just repetition to the max, smashing down into listeners’ heads like a ten pound sledge. The reason for much of the repetition is the fact that Killer Squirrel is in reality one individual. However, the fact that Killer Squirrel is only one person does not mean that the band falls into the same type of rut that other one-person acts (Steve Lieberman and Mizar, to name two individuals) tend to do. This means that there is a tremendously catchy track in “Nothing To Lose”. “Songs For The Christmas Party” is full of these tracks, and Killer Squirrel more often than not seems as more of a punk version of Atom and His Package. I have no idea why an individual would not want to release a 7 inch with eir, as these tracks are catchy and show Killer Squirrel as a blend of Gnarkill and The Ramones.
The disc ends well before the thirty-minute mark, but there is an enormous replay value for “Songs For The Christmas Party”; Killer Squirrel has a greatest hits on eir hands before they’ve cut more than two albums. Just because the disc is spinning to a close does not mean that Killer Squirrel is going to close up shop and cut a few forgettable tracks; “Happy Valentines Day” is just as strong as “Open Your Eyes”. Here’s to hoping that there are a few more “Songs For The Christmas Party”s bouncing around the head of Killer Squirrel, as this album is some of the most fun and interesting material that has came across the desk in a decent amount of time. This is not just pop-punk, though; a track like “On 16th Avenue” sounds as if it is a Frankenstein’s Monster of alt-country and New Order and succeeds even with the odd pairing of styles. Top Tracks: Nothing To Lose, Open Your Eyes
Killer Squirrel – Songs For The Christmas Party / 2006 Operation Phenix Records / 14 Tracks / http://www.operationphoenixrecords.com / Reviewed 21 May 2006