The world isn't exactly swimming with Hanukkah albums, but even if it were, The LeeVees' Hanukkah Rocks would probably stand out. A collaboration between Guster's Adam Gardner and The Zambonis' Dave Schneider, Hanukkah Rocks offers nine would-be holiday standards designed to break the Christmas deadlock on holiday singalongs. Written in eight days, naturally, while the leads' bands toured together, the tracks offer everything from power-pop tributes to Hanukkah food ("Applesauce Vs. Sour Cream") to songs about the mysteries of the Festival Of Lights ("How Do You Spell Channukkahh?").
The band has its collective tongue at least partly in cheek much of the time, but most of the tracks transcend novelty. Changing diet trends become a lament for the passing of time on "Kugel" ("you're not like you used to be / you were once sweet and creamy"). "Latke Clan" kicks the album off on a catchy note with a celebration of holiday togetherness, while "Nun Gimmel Heh Shin" must be the most tender ode to "dredlin'" ever recorded. Admittedly, as with much of Hanukkah Rocks, the lack of points of comparison helps, but any future Hanukkah-themed rock albums will have to try hard to top this one.