Sunday, January 30, 2011

Howard Billington - The Meaning Of Christmas

Hear The Track Here

I'm fairly certain that Howard Billington will have been hearing the mental howl of rage from me for the whole of this month for heaping this indignity on me. After ALL the crap I gave you guys over Christmas tracks last month who would have thought Gilmore's Golden Boy would have been the very first to blot his copybook? Not only that, he choose to give it to me in the first month of the year so I shudder to think what he has in store for me this year. I jest of course, for indeed Howard can't do much wrong for me, I am a confirmed and die hard fan and he was only just pipped at the post in the just past Stevies for AOTY by Avalanche, and if that would have been judged mainly on output then Howard would have won hands down. He's a prodigious little ******* and no mistake, between these and his work with Smoke It 'n' Die, he's kept me busy most months since I first met him.

His primary appeal for me is as a songwriter, a natural ease in coming up with memorable tunes and a wicked approach to the whole lyric thing. Certainly if you are a committed Christian who believes that Christmas is one of the most holy times of the year, this may sting you into a bit of a fury. Again, though, Howard is a songwriter who is never afraid to tackle some thorny subjects - in fact he's got quite a mania about it. Even, so it would seem, towards the whole peace on earth and goodwill to man thingie that Christmas should mean. Should you think I am jesting (Ed: what you??? ha aha ha) I hereby quote the opening sentiment of the song 'Happy birthday Jesus, from everyone here on earth sorry we nailed you to a cross but let's celebrate your birth '. If that makes you see red, best you avoid this because it only gets worse.

Of course, one mans worse is another mans awesome and I fall into the latter breed. I like artists who are - how can I put this? - somewhat irreverent, and Howard is a dab hand at aural grafitti, spraypainting his lyrics onto your brain whether you like it or not. Although his musical genre shifts a bit, there is no doubt about the massive debt it owes to punk rock, and the whole UK political/musical tie ups ever since. So sure, he may standing on the shoulders of giants but his music (and general feelgood style) certainly earns him the right to be there and The Meaning of Christmas will absolutely confirm that. Think on, my unbelieving chums, a Christmas track even I could like. How cool is that? A word to the wise for young Howie though: don't push your luck and try this one again :P

Highly Recommended (and late as usual) Christmas Wishes (not for your grandma or the easily offended)

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