After releasing one of the better albums in their 25(!)-year-history in January ‘08 (Take a Good Look!), the garage rock titans in the Fleshtones take a 2008 victory lap with this holiday treat. Even by the loose standards of the holiday album genre, there’s an undeniable Christmas Ape Goes to Summer Camp vibe to Stocking Stuffer: These guys conjure up hot sweaty nights drinking PBR tallboys, not hunkering down by the fireplace with eggnog and a slab of fruitcake. Still, for a certain segment of the population—namely, those of us who plan their week around the broadcast of Little Steven’s Underground Garage—Stocking Stuffer makes a great, uh, stocking stuffer. Isn’t it great when albums come with their own serving suggestions? Good-natured, high-octane garage originals like “Christmas with Bazooka Joe”, “Champagne Christmas” and “Super Rock Santa” (as well as a handful of covers, including “You’re All I Want for Christmas” and a smokin’ runthrough of “Run, Rudolph, Run!”) are exactly as essential as their titles indicate, but as soundtracks for holiday parties go, it sure beats that radio station that won’t stop playing that George Michael song, and hey, you can’t play A Christmas Gift to You from Phil Spector forever, can you?
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