Known for their gruff, powerful and slightly scary psych-rock sound, UK-based Fun Balloon Animals are hanging up their frightening masks to enjoy the Christmas season. Not a fan of novelty Christmas songs, I was a little hesitant with this track; however, Fun Balloon Animals plaster a smile on my face with their single ‘Keep A Smile For Christmas’.
Incorporating traditional elements of Christmas with the sleigh bells and merry “ho ho ho”, Fun Balloon Animals replace their hard rock sound with a lighter, more laidback melody. Twinged with pop-rock influences, ‘Keep A Smile For Christmas’ is upbeat and engaging. Yet, while the group approaches this merry track with a degree of cheerfulness, they do not let up on the gruff vocals and rock undertones. It’s as if AC/DC met Bruce Springsteen and McFly then decided to sprinkle pink confetti while spinning around.
Unlike holiday tracks that send you off on a tangent to a “bubblegum reality”, Fun Balloon Animals engage their listeners with a degree of relevancy to contemporary society. I’m not saying they are pointing out every seriously significant aspect of life, but there is an introspective quality making you say that ‘Keep A Smile For Christmas’ isn’t all sparkles and eggnog. Reflective with a cheerful poignancy, this track is intriguing, captivating and slightly beguiling. It’s clear to see that this will have me smiling over a Christmas cake hoping to see St. Nick when the time comes along.