Head here to submit your own review of this album.

The holiday album is possibly the most transparent of all music industry money-grabs. But harping on about the commercialization of Christmas isn't going to stop a handful of respectable artists from releasing sentimental songs of mistletoe and togetherness come December. This year's offenders? Los Campesinos with A Los Campesinos! Christmas.

Granted, there's not much integrity to be found in the subject matter, but the six-track EP does have its redemptive moments. While 'The Holly & The Ivy' is rife with conventional holiday imagery, it's hidden beneath folky guitars and wistful harmonies. There is a traditional choral interlude about halfway through, though somehow it seems nicely aware of its own kitsch value. This is what sets A Los Campesinos! Christmas apart: the band is conscious of clichés, and they toy with them without being totally subversive.

'A Doe To A Deer' plays up to that "pining heart at Christmas" trope with lyrics like "I'll be anything you want of me/a carrot nose encased in snow." And in instances where soppy sentiments prevail, the Campesinos rely solely on their quirky, cacophonous charm to keep the record afloat. Fortunately for them, charm abounds. The up-tempo 'When Christmas Comes' isn't all rays of sunshine through the snowfall, either. There's a let down built into the finite joys of the holiday season, and the track acknowledges that.

A Los Campesinos! Christmas ticks all of the seasonally-designated thematic boxes--from the agonies of unrequited love to the complacent and ambivalent joy of a family Christmas (see: 'The Trains Don't Run (It's Christmas Day)'). Appropriately enough, jangle-y bells, chimes and xylophones feature prominently across the album. All the while the plucky, DIY ethos that characterised the band's previous releases succeeds in keeping the nausea at bay.

The album's only cover, a take on Mud's 'Lonely this Christmas', complete with drum machine backbeat, falls flatter than the band's original compositions. But what's a Christmas record without a cover song? You've got to hand it to the Campesinos, they've got the formula right.

Let's face it: the Christmas EP is never going to be Los Campesinos magnum opus, or even a noteworthy addition to their discography. They haven't reinvented Christmas music and made it respectable, but it's infinitely more palatable than anything else you're going to hear for the next month. If that isn't a wholehearted endorsement of A Los Campesinos! Christmas, then I don't know what is.

This is the place you'll find reviews from 405 Readers. To join in, head here.