Off With Their Heads
From the Bottom



by spoon_of_grimbo USER (74 Reviews)
August 10th, 2008 | 10 replies

Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: After a string of split-releases and 7-inches, Minneapolis' finest up-and-coming punk rockers churn out a masterpiece of a debut LP.

Introductions be damned, I'm going to cut straight to the chase here - From the Bottom is the best honest-to-goodness punk rock album I've heard in years. Listening to Off With Their Heads debut full-length is like a punch in the face, or a mouthful of murky brown phlegm spat in your eye, followed a hairy, sweaty arm around your neck ready to join in a giant singalong.

Typically for a release on Gainesville's infamous No Idea Records, this is a rough-edged affair, guitars churning like rusty chainsaws, basslines sounding as though they're being plucked on elevator cables, and drums going off like explosions in a welding factory. As for vocalist Ryan Young, well this is a guy who eschews the traditional breakfast for a bowl of gravel and razorblades, washed down with a nice glass of battery acid. Yeah, his voice is real fucking gruff, yet he's still somehow able to really carry a tune with that mangled throat of his - imagine Al Barr of The Dropkick Murphys crossed with a rusty tractor engine, and then factor in the presence of some almost-as-gravelly vocal harmonies and "whoah"s; the results are consistently effective. Collectively the band's style is very much like how The Replacements might have sounded if they'd lived on a diet of hard liquor and steroids; such a comparison is neither overly flattering or innacurate - in addition to the musical style present, the lyrical fodder of life's many fuck-ups is another aspect that OWTH share with Westerberg and Co.

However, what separates OWTH from their peers is the joyously upbeat mood that pervades the whole album. Whereas, for example, Hot Water Music tend to have a fairly sombre feel to their songs, optimistic at best, and Planes Mistaken for Stars sound like they're constantly drowning their sorrows, Young seems almost ecstatic while singing lines dripping with spite and fury ("I'll tell you why I fucking hate my life and I'll tell you why I can't seem to get it right," from opener "I Am You" and "Until the day I die I fuckin' swear I'm gonna make your life as miserable as mine" from "Until the Day..." being two particular highlights).

I could examine individual songs and pull apart the lyrics, but really, it's this honesty, intensity and heartfelt delivery, combined with simple yet effective songwriting and a raw yet beefed up production job that makes From the Bottom such an essential listen and, like the album, I'm going to keep this review, short, fancy-free, and to the point. Get this album NOW, and I promise you, you won't regret it.

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user ratings (63)

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 10th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

a few of my recent reviews have been a bit over-long, so i figured a nice short-and-to-the-point one was in order.

the whole album's up for streaming here, and i can't recommend it enough:

August 11th 2008


This is great, i saw it at hot topic the other day... it was like 8 bucks! Really good upcoming band.

August 11th 2008


Good review too, glad someone else likes this.

August 11th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

thanks! yeah, i'd never heard of them til i saw the stream on punknews, and i immediately loved it (i have given it a shitload of listens though, i'm not basing a review off one or two spins lol!).

that site has actually introduced me to a lot of great new bands via their streams recently.

August 11th 2008


nice read, grimbo. I really wanna check this out now.

August 11th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

do it man, you'll be glad you did. came out of nowhere for me, really, but it's not gonna be leaving the cd player for a LONG-ass time. let me know what you think to it.

August 18th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

awesome review! this will be the next album I check out as soon as I get home

February 19th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Sweet, just got this, have yet to listen. I had 'Hospitals' before and it was pretty good so I'm excited.

August 2nd 2009


everything is wrongggggg

Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

Continuing on from where they left off on the excellent 'Hospitals' EP, Minneapolis quartet Off With Their Heads deliver more energetically ferocious punk on debut LP 'From the Bottom'. Containing sing-along refrain after shout-along refrain, there are so many catchy melodies here that many will call the band a pop-punk act. Ryan Young passionately delivers the mainly self-deprecating lyrics with an effective rasp, while the guitars & rhythm section more than do their jobs. Variety may be too subtle, but can easily be overlooked on this unrelenting 30 minutes worth. Recommended Tracks: Until the Day..., I Hope You Know, Fuck This Im Out & I Am You.

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