The term “emo revival” has mutated since breaking out of the underground one year ago. What had been shorthand for describing the sound of the genre’s fourth wave has been pushed onto a whole lot of melodic punk outfits who don’t fit the mold, including many 00s bands whose Icarus-like ascent and descent in popularity contributed to the notion that emo as a whole completely evaporated. Now “emo revival” has become an in-joke in some punk circles, and it appears in one of the many tongue-in-cheek track titles on the new Christmas album from punk musician Chris Farren (of Fake Problems and Antarctigo Vespucci). “Emo Revival Christmas 2014” appears alongside songs with titles such as “Chris Farren’s Disney’s Frozen” and “I Wish it Was Christmas Every Day.” Hell, Farren even named his album Like A Gift From God or Whatever, which comes across as more fun than ironic.
I won’t question the earnestness of “Emo Revival Christmas 2014” (which is today’s 12 O’Clock Track) and that’s partially because Farren pulls off the yuletide homage with charm. He applies American Football‘s magical moodiness to a track that feels more like a gentle sleigh ride through the snow. In the spirit of the season Farren is donating a portion of the sales from Like A Gift From God or Whatever to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, so if you like the song you’ve got even more incentive to buy the whole album.