Review Summary: Teeth grinding, whiskey soaked punk rock.
With an ever changing lineup, Off With Their Heads always seems to have something fresh to offer with each release. With most of it’s core members committed to other projects as well as OWTH, the lineup has changed with every release. If you’ve never listened to OWTH you’re in for a treat this time around. Hospitals is their first official release despite being only an EP. It’s fifteen minutes packed full of energetic, gritty vocals and dirty basslines. Some of the songs border on melodic hardcore rather than the punk they are labeled as. From beginning to end it’s something you can listen to twenty times, forget about and then bring up again one night when you’re drunk with your buddies climbing on your roof.
The album opener “Die Today” is the EP’s finest track. What’s better than a song about wanting to skip work because the sun is shining and you’ve spent all your money on coke and can’t pay the rent? Answer = nothing. The rest of the songs between this and the closer are equal in tempo and just about equal in quality. The fifth track is about 21 seconds long and is reminiscent of the Circle Jerks. As previously mentioned the vocals for the lead singer are very gritty, it’s almost as if he’s swallowed some dirt and nails; he should get that checked out. The bass is also noticeable throughout the album but is spotty in some parts. The last song “Jackie Lee” brings a whole new feel to the album. It immediately kicks off more as a folk punk song, with an irish tinge to it, almost making it sound like a Dropkick Murphys b-side if Al Barr had a really gritty voice. Lyrics make this song, giving way for meaning for the album title. It might be a short release but it’s a seminal one for OWTH. The band would release two full length albums and a couple more EP’s to follow that would pave the way with intensity.