Chris Farren released his Christmas album, Like A Gift From God Or Whatever, last year (2014) but it saw its first physical release a year later (2015) as Soft Speak Records had it pressed on vinyl on three different variants. Two of the variants are based on color, with the third having an alternate cover. This alternate cover was a Fest 14 exclusive only available at Farren’s solo show at The Fest in 2015. There were 30 copies of the Fest Exclusive pressed, and I’m assuming they come on red vinyl based on the pressing info. There were 100 copies pressed on gold and an odd 270 copies on red, so you see why I made an educated case with the Fest exclusive coming with a copy of the LP on red vinyl.
*** After Chris Farren got in touch with me I can make a correction that the Fest Press is on black vinyl. They’re test presses. So strike the “they’re likely on red vinyl” I mentioned above.***
The fest exclusive comes in card stock cover, which has a die-cut snowman in the center. There is either a red & white polka dot insert behind the snowman, which shows through the die-cut portion, or it’s affixed to the cardstock cover. I’ve never seen a copy of the fest exclusive and have seen only one picture to go on. There is a red ribbon tied around all four sides of the cover to complete the Christmas present theme behind the packaging. All fest exclusives are also hand-numbered /30 in silver felt pen.
To make the first physical release of the album a little bit more special, a new, previously unreleased song was added as a bonus track. The song, entitled “Cold Front” features Evan Weiss of Into It. Over It. fame. In fact the entire album features a ton of guest vocalists and performers as every song has Chris Farren joined by someone. Another aspect of the physical release (and all digital albums too, at least for the month of December) is that proceeds from sales are going to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Like A Gift From God Or Whatever comes in a single pocket jacket, which is quite thin, and also includes an insert. A download card is not included but you are emailed a download link after purchase. The artwork and packaging was designed by Jeff Rosenstock (Bomb The Music Industry!), and is done in a retro style. The center labels are also done in the Christmas spirit, with Side A being red and Side B being green.