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Santa Claus is known for being a carols-and-hymnals sort of fella, but once the summer equinox hits, he's all black cut-offs, devil horns and doom-metal.

Why do you think he keeps that wicked beard? It's versatile.

As far as gift-giving goes, this one may be arriving out of season, but we're not complaining. L.A. metal-of-many-stripes institution Hydra Head Records has just dropped the free 22-song digital sampler, Phoning It In.

More than just a primer on the label co-founded by ISIS frontman Aaron Turner, the compilation also features a few rare and unreleased tracks alongside time-tested songs from Toche, Pyramids With Nadja, Harvey Milk, Xasthur, Bohren, Oxbow, Daughters and numerous others.

It also marks the launch of Hydra Head's digital store — which means MP3s, a big move for one of the best vinyl labels in town.

The heavy, heavy Phoning It In track listing:

01. Oxbow + Philippe Thiphaine – “Coalking” from Songs for the French

02. Daughters – “The First Supper” from Daughters

03. Bohren and Der Club Of Gore – “Unkerich” from Dolores

04. Knut – “Calamity” from Wonder

05. The Austerity Program – “Song 27” from Backsliders and Apostates Will Burn

06. Pyramids With Nadja – “Another War” from Pyramids With Nadja

07. Helms Alee – “Lionize” from the “Lionize” / “Truly” 7-inch

08. Hayaino Daisuki – “Ghosts of Purgatory” from The Invincible Gate Mind…

09. Harvey Milk – “I Know This Is No Place For You” from A Small Turn…

10. La Gritona – “Tony Alamo” from Demasiado Tonto Para Los Ninos Listos…

11. Stephen Brodsky – “Here In Spirit” from Here's to the Future

12. Jodis – “Continents” from Secret House

13. Nihill – “Mundus Subterreanus” from Krach

14. Cave In – “Retina Sees Rewind” from Planets of Old

15. Kayo Dot – “II. Whisper Ineffable” from Coyote

16. Keelhaul “THC for One” from Keelhaul's Triumphant Return to Obscurity

17. Clouds – “New Bombs” from B Chuggas May Be Logging

18. Xasthur – “UNTITLED 4/05” from 2005 Demo

19. GridLink – “Amber Gray” from Amber Gray

20. Greymachine – “Wasted” from Disconnected

21. Bergraven – “Hunger” from Till Makabert Vasen

22. Torche – “UFO” from Songs For Singles

LA Weekly