12 band Christmas jumpers that are so ugly they’re brilliant
Christmas jumpers: the worse they are, the better they are. If only such a rule similarly went for the god-awful present your distant aunt foists upon you every year, or the monstrously large turkey that’s been cooked to the point of resembling cremated roadkill, then the festive season would go off without a hitch year in, year out. But no, knitwear is one thing that gets a pass for being just a little bit shit come December 25 – and frankly, we’re all for it.
But how, we hear you cry, can you continue to display your none-more-metal credentials while also embracing the festive frivolities? Paper hats and crackers just aren’t very rock’n’roll, are they? Here to save the season, then, are our picks of a dozen of the best-worst snuggly sweaters from your favourite bands…
The Mighty Maiden could have turned to their most famous Christmas song of all – Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter, naturally, which was went to the top of the UK Singles Chart following its release on Xmas Eve in 1990 – for the festive season’s must-have dinner-table accessory. But then again, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a nice thick, warm jumper in undoubtedly ‘Ancient Egypt’, so we see where they were going with this one.
Like so many good ideas, we like to think this particular sweater started life as a quite-brilliant pun. Seriously, whoever in the Metallica camp came up with ‘Gimme Yule’ deserves an extra large egg-nog by way of a bonus.
Guns N' Roses
The World’s Most Dangerous Band aren’t strangers to a questionable decision or two: those lyrics on One In A Million, the fact that the song My World was allowed to see the light of day, hiring a man with a KFC bucket for a hat as your lead guitarist… But all of those decisions, dear reader, look positively sensible compared to the thought-process behind this particular Xmas jumper. We’ll take two, please.
Personally, we’d have put the Santa hat on either of the, y’know, heads that are on display in this Nightmare Before Christmas‑y number. But then, perhaps we’ve been getting dressed wrong every day all along. Makes you think, doesn’t it.
Christmas is a time for partying, and if there’s one man that knows partying, it’s Andrew W.K. When your family’s Boxing Day marathon game of charades enters (what feels like) its fourth hour, just imagine how much more fun you’d be having if it were Andrew trying to coax the answer ‘The Great British Bake Off’ out of your already-asleep nan while wearing this.
The key to the brilliance of this Bay Area banger of a jumper is in its subtlety, which, yes, we’ll admit, might not be the first word that comes to mind when you look at this. The Santa hats on the lions’ heads (see, The Used – that’s how you do it!) is as basic as a mince pie, but the candy canes slipped into their furry paws is a real chef’s kiss of a detail. It’s always the little things, isn’t it.
Ever wanted to show off your love for your favourite Canadian rockers while also cosplaying an elf? Well, dear readers, you’re in luck, thanks to this remarkably polite number that is so inoffensive, you would comfortably wear it to the local church carol service without pissing anyone off. But really, where would be the fun in that?
The thing with Christmas jumpers, right, is that there is an ultra-small window of opportunity in which to wear them. Pull the trigger too early, and you’re no better than the supermarket that starts pumping out Rudolph The Rednose Reindeer across the PA in September. Try to wear one after December 27, however, and really, all of that goodwill to all men stuff has already eroded into a Scroogian end-of-tether grump. Thankfully, this Sabbath number is only borderline Christmassy enough that you couldn’t get away with wearing it as just a regular piece of knit-wear at any time of year.
Credit where credit’s due to Caleb Shomo (because he obviously designed this himself, come on), here, with Beartooth forgoing the obvious character contenders for this snug sweater and going with the little-seen snowglobe as its primary focus. A shame, though, to have missed a trick of a bear savaging the reindeer. The bottom half of this makes us think of a Christmas pudding, too, for some reason. Do not try eating this at home.
Lemmy was born on Christmas eve, making him basically Rock’N’Roll Jesus, so Motörhead more than most can lay claim to being the undisputed kings of the season. Which makes up for the lack of festivity about this. The Ace Of Spades being roughly the same shape as a Christmas tree feels like an opportunity missed, is all we’re saying.
Not the most festive jumper in the world, is it? No chintzy tinsel, or baubles, or Santa hats here. Still, it’ll be nice to hunker down in while re-watching The Osbourne’s Xmas TV special for the 10th time and taking notes on how Ozzy himself makes such a good gravy.
Five Finger Death Punch
Despite what cutesy Christmas scenes on greeting cards, there’s not a chance in hell that the elves that work in Santa’s Grotto can churn out the number of toys required to fill the stockings of every good boy and girl around the world come Christmas morning. Not, anyway, without said Grotto being run with an iron, knuckleduster-clad fist. Consider this FFDP number a dark nod to Santa’s tyrannical rein, and bah humbug to you all.
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