El Sancho, a punk band from the Big Island, will release Jollier Than Thou, a holiday-themed record on December 3 on digital platforms and cassette tape. The seven-song album comprised entirely of the band’s own Christmas tunes.
“We put out a Christmas single in 2020 and wanted to follow it up with a new song this year,” said guitarist/vocalist Alan Kasameyer. “When we started brainstorming ideas, it quickly turned into a whole album instead of one song.”
Jollier Than Thou starts with “Merry Christmas Joey Ramone,” an upbeat punk rock tribute to the band that inspired Kasameyer to play music when he was a teenager. The track was recently featured on the HuffPost website as one of the best holiday songs of 2021, alongside songs by Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift, and Michael Bublé.
While the first track is upbeat, the rest of the album takes a dark turn and explores the feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety often present during the Christmas season.
“Holiday songs are usually merry and cheery, but those aren’t the only emotions people feel around this time of the year, so we wanted to acknowledge that,” continued Kasameyer.
In “Another Lonely Christmas on the Big Island,” the protagonist is fed up by the happy and carefree people he sees around the island celebrating the holidays and attempts suicide by jumping off a cliff at South Point, but quickly changes his mind once he hits the water.
“Merry Christmas Joey Ramone” was released on streaming platforms on November 26, and Jollier Than Thou is available on limited edition cassette tape through their Bandcamp page (https://elsanchohawaii.bandcamp.com) now.
The digital release of Jollier Than Thou is scheduled for December 3rd.
El Sancho returns to the live stage on the Big Island Friday, Dec. 3, at WIllie’s Hot Chicken in Kona. Fuse, a punk/hardcore band on tour from Southern California, opens the show.