Appropriately subtitled “Guitar Stooge Version,” this meth-freak version “White Christmas” is enough to have Bing Crosby spinning at coffin-melting speeds.
Iggy Pop opens things up with a gravel-gargling intonement, making the most of a completely inappropriate (and, yes, completely delicious) buzz-saw riff, and already it’s clear: This ain’t your parents’ kind of carol. Then, somehow, it gets weirder — as Iggy switches from a monotone incantation that would have humbled Thurl Ravenscroft into a spoken-word segment that goes from dark to just plain weird. Can anybody else, really, make the words “white” and “Christmas,” as Iggy does in the fade, sound so much like a threat to bodily harm?
But, there’s more. “White Christmas (Guitar Stooge Version)” closes a newly issued compilation of trip-rock coolness called Psych-Out Christmas, issued just in time for a Yuletide binge by Cleopatra Records. Featured elsewhere are Psychic Ills, the Vacant Lots, Elephant Stone, Dark Horses, Sons of Hippies and others.
Together, they do similar damage to time-honored favorites (from “Frosty the Snowman” and “What Child Is This?” to “Jingle Bells”), as well as newer items (the Beatles’ “Christmas Time [Is Here Again]” and “Run Rudolph Run”) and original material (“Jul Song”). How crazy is this thing? This crazy: “Little Drummer Boy,” in the hands here of the Swedish band the Movements, is presented — well, of course it is — without even a single drum. And the Fuzztones’ wailingly demented “Santa Claus” simply must be heard to be believed.