Review Summary: The most fun punk album to come out in years
Off With Their Heads is nothing but a straight-forward punk rock band from Minnesota. Now, with that said, they have almost perfected their own brand of punk rock, with punchy guitars and gruff vocals. OWTH has gained quite a bit of a following as punk fans have been yearning for a band to rise to the top of a genre that has been overrun by pop punk bands looking for a paycheck (which we all know is something punk fans hate, their favorite bands making any money.) OWTH’s rise as a punk band is surprising considering the complete dilution of the genre and the fact that most bands that come up these days simply cannot be considered straight punk. With all the subgenres around bands end up fusing punk with other genres, which is nothing new. In the 90s it was ska, in the early 2000s we saw the rise of pop-punk like Blink-182 and Sum 41, and now we are in the midst of this weird age of punk becoming awkwardly fused to metalcore and breakdowns, or “Happy Hardcore” along the lines of Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals, and A Day To Remember. So whether they like it or not, OWTH are saddled with proving people that they will not turn away from the punk sound they are known with, especially since they have signed with Epitaph, who hadn’t signed a punk band since 2001.
So Off With Their Heads decided to create a fun, exciting punk album, probably the best “*** you” to the naysayers that they could.
is everything that punk fans could want. The guitars are punchy and fast, rarely more than straight power chords but each chord is dripping with edge, like the rails could fall off at any moment. The drumming is perfect, never trying to go outside the song, creating a perfect sturdy background when coupled with the bass, which is always audible. The vocalist is the true highlight here though, sounding like Dicky Barrett’s younger brother with that same gruff, heavy edge to it. The lyrics are fun and unpretentious, never detracting from the music. There are no bad lyrics here, but nothing that will really make you think, which is kind of the point.
All in all, In Desolation
harkens back not to the overly pissy yet couldn’t play a note days of The Sex Pistols but more the early nineties, more Social Distortion without the rockabilly or Americana, or Mighty Mighty Bosstones without the brass. Off With Their Heads has created a fun, straight-forward punk album, nothing more, nothing less, which might just be what the punk guys disillusioned with what Warped Tour has become need right now.