It's worth noting that the video is brand new (officially debuted upon an unsuspecting world yesterday, I'm told). But I'm not jumping through that loophole, brilliant (and risque) as it may be.
No, I'm confessing that I missed the initial release of this song, but it is sooo bloody brilliant that I can not ignore it once I've heard it. This is music that must be heard, must be shared, must be known by all.
The Senti-Mentals are a British band, led by Paul Eccentric, a singer/songwriter, playwright, and poet (technically The Antipoet), who earned the name by refusing to tell a journalist his surname. So the journalist dubbed him Paul Eccentric and it stuck. Musically, Paul is remembered for his work with the 80s band The Odd Eccentric who scored a number one hit in Denmark with the two sided single "Two Heads"/"The Sorry People".
The Senti-Mentals began as a Doo-Wop group in 1998, and have a couple of albums to their credit. The label describes "You Show Me Yours At Xmas" as "Punk Poet meets 50s doo-wop". That's OK, as far as it goes. What I hear, though, is the best voice of its kind since Gene Pitney fronting a Punk Ska outfit like the Specials with an appropriate dash of the Neo Swing of The Royal Crown Revue, and the big big production typical of classic British Christmas singles like those from Roy Wood's Wizzard and Slade (only the British would hear Phil Spector and respond, "No, bigger! Much much bigger!"....and we're all happy about that, btw).
The Gene Pitney vocals are what grabbed me right away. Maybe you're not as old as I am, but Gene Pitney had one of the best voices in Rock n Roll. It was strong, clear, and cut through everything like a Mike Tyson uppercut. The only thing about Pitney was the material. He mostly sang nice, safe, Pop songs. They were nice. Pleasant, even. He had a lot of hits and a nice career. Oh, but, man, that voice would've soared in Rock n Roll. When I think of Gene Pitney, I don't think of "Liberty Valance". Please. I think of "She's A Heartbreaker".
On the other end is the Ska. Ever notice how most Ska vocalists sound roughly the same? There seems to be a basic vocal range among Ska vocalists, and most like to play it goofy. That's part of the whole Ska thing--not taking themselves too seriously. One of the reasons (just one) I'm so taken by Si Cranstoun (who started in Ska) is that he's got a great, clear, soulful and unique voice. Well Ska and Gene Vincent would have made some great records.
And then there's the song itself. Something a little different than your "White Christmas", "Little Drummer Boy" playlist. There have been songs about the hapless would-be ladies man on the make before, I'm sure. But, offhand, I can't think of any other than maybe "Baby It's Cold Outside", and I'm pretty sure we're all tired of that one. Now "You Show Me Yours At Xmas"? I'm never forgetting this song. The lyrics are brilliant. The music practically demads that you dance, party, and have the good time the poor sod in the video (appropriately named Dick) will never have. And, yes, there is that video. Did you catch all of the little touches. Like the Trump poster? Did you catch that? Evil Bread 2? I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition...in my pants? Go back and watch it again.
But I keep coming back to the vocals. I know its not a pure Ska rhythm. It is every bit as much that early hybrid of Rock and R&B. But those vocals. That cat (and I assume it's Paul) can truly sing.
I don't care what year it was originally released. "You Show Me Yours At Xmas" by the Senti-Mentals is on Santa Stubby's Top Ten Christmas list this year...and possibly every year going forward. You can get the 2-track digital download at Amazon and iTunes (and most major digital retailers). There is a CD-single available at the Senti-Mentals web site but, for now, it's a print out the form and mail in the check purchase (reasonably priced, though). Now go back and watch that video again.