ZE Records was a New York record label big in the early ’80s for its unique fusion of abrasive punk and no wave with early dance music. Music from the label’s artists was popular among hipsters, goths, and the remains of the gay disco scene. Notable entries on their roster include Lydia Lunch of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Christina, James White and the Contortions, and the ever-popular Suicide.
Imagine my shock then, when typing the record label into a google search bar only to have the phrase “ZE Records Christmas Album” appear in the autofill. I dropped everything, ran to grab my headphones, and prepared myself for what promised to be an unmitigated disaster. The album did not disappoint. It has depressed hipsters wailing the word Christmas, rock-disco songs about cruelty to pine trees, and no less than five women doing Nico impressions while singing traditional Christmas carol. It even had a minor hit with Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses charting in the UK.
The album is glorious cheese. It may not be good, strictly speaking, but there is never a dull moment and I cannot recommend it highly enough. However, if you are too busy preparing for the holidays and only have time for a single track, I implore you to give “Christmas With Satan,” by James Chance a listen, you will not regret it. Merry Christmas!