For the second year running The Rising have set out to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to the masses with an EP that gives last years Christmas song, "This Special Time Of Year" another run out, along with a new song "Christmas Brought You Here" and a yuletide cover in the shape of Chris Rea's "Driving Home For Christmas".
"This Special Time Of Year" retains it's charm - it ticked just about every box on the Things To Mention In A Christmas song checklist, with mentions of mistletoe, church bells as well as throwing in actual bells and a singalong chorus.
This years effort, "Christmas Brought You Here" initially starts as a different affair altogether, there may be a bell tinkling in the background over a gentle intro but the opening line "There'll be no snow this Christmas now that you're gone" seems to set the scene for an altogether different kind of song. Then as if this was Morrisey's Christmas single we also learn that there is also "no tree up' no gifts wrapped, i'll be alone" and to cap it all "no happiness no joy this holiday!".
As the saying goes "it's always darkest before the dawn" and this seemingly grim proposition opens up into a celebration of the meaning of Christmas."with a message of hope and a song of peace this Christmas Day"
Chantelle McAteer a year on seems much more at home in the studio and puts in a great vocal performance.on a song that has all the essential ingredients that go to make a great Christmas single including another singalong chorus.
The final track gives "Driving Home For Christmas" a dust down and a shake up, in what is a lively facsimile of the original, with Chantelle replacing the gruff vocals of Chris Rea. I must admit that this is one of my least favourite Christmas songs but this version goes down as smooth as a glass of Christmas sherry,