Off With Their Heads
Be Good


4.2
excellent

Review

by Atari STAFF
August 22nd, 2019 | 29 replies


Release Date: 08/16/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Not worried of what’s coming to me, already in hell...

If you’re keen on drunken punk music you can easily shout along to, Off with Their Heads are the band for you. Bouncing right back where they left off six years ago with Home, their music still thrives on shredding guitars and hoarse vocals that sound ravaged by years of cigarette smoke. At this point, they’ve clearly mastered their craft of loud, anthem-heavy rock tunes; they’ve never sounded as amped up or as varied as they do here. Be Good isn’t as instantly melodic or infectious as Home, but it’s easily the band’s most mature and relatable effort to date. It’s punk music that can be proudly sung by people in their 30s. And your grandpa, too!

For the most part, Be Good is nothing more than 11 tracks with the volume cranked up to the max. However, there are several unexpected curve-balls that keep the album sounding refreshing in comparison to the band’s past work. Vocalist Ryan Young has made some insane improvements – sounding more charged than ever on every track, but also much more versatile. His voice has a gruff demeanor in general, but he really pushes himself to the limit here – sporadically extending verses into bursts of rage that were nowhere to be found on their last album. It also doesn’t hurt his bandmates aren’t far behind; there’s no shortage of energy in the pummeling drums and dynamic guitars that make up the adrenaline ride of Be Good.

Although Off with Their Heads’ music often feels rather impersonal – more of a good time than a serious statement – Be Good contains some of their most raw and engaging work yet. Cathartic unlike anything they’ve done, “Take Me Away” raises the bar for the band. It begins with a softer inflection than we typically hear from Young before exploding into the biting sing-along of Somebody Take, Take, Take me Awayyyy. The song perfectly encapsulates the intense, anxious feeling of needing a break – even a minute’s rest – from all of life’s noise. It’s just so damn massive – everything from the buildup to the payoff being perfectly placed. The last minute of the song also contains some of the most uneasy screams Young has ever let loose. It’s a reinvigorating career highlight, perhaps only rivaled by the impactful one-two punch of “Locking Eyes” and “Death.” The closing duo is probably the most reflective and uplifting Off with Their Heads have ever sounded. As the album closes with the optimistic looping guitar melodies of “Death” and the reassuring hymn-like vocals, hitting repeat seems to be the only logical option.

Keeping tradition with Off with Their Heads’ prior albums, Be Good is a frickin' blast to listen to, as well as a noteworthy step forward for the band into a more intimate, open space. The vocals are still fierce and guttural as hell throughout the majority of the album. Yet, at times they take on a poignant, foreign approach that will have you listening a bit more intently. The guitar work is also as addicting as ever, adding that extra punch of melody to the excellent title track and “Trash It”, for example. After a six-year absence, Off with Their Heads could have basically released a carbon copy of their last album and I wouldn’t complain. Hell, I’d welcome the familiarity. Instead, we should consider ourselves lucky that Be Good, though comforting, is full of small surprises and surpassed expectations. Containing all the grit of a Hot Water Music album with the added charm of The Menzingers, these batch of songs are a pure jolt of energy – the most potent writing of the band’s career.



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user ratings (48)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2019


24893 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Review is kinda awful but fwiw I love this band and u should listen to them

Digging: Tiny Moving Parts - Breathe

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2019


24893 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

I should add “Take Me Away” is a SOTY contender

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2019


56938 Comments


For some reason I've never heard this band

Digging: Daniel Johnston - Songs of Pain

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2019


902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, great album. As you say, take me away is so good

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
August 22nd 2019


10117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Review is solid my man, I think it outlines the release well. Definitely a vocals-centric album, and in that regard these guys rock. Can't say I felt the same dynamic range from the instrumentals though.

Digging: WRVTH - No Rising Sun

SowingSeason
Moderator
August 22nd 2019


32091 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Bumped this back down to a 4 from a 4.5, which was probably a bit overzealous. It's not as memorable or diverse from track to track as I thought it would reveal itself to be with time. This is really solid though. I love his screaming voice and he doesn't overuse it, so the moments where he launches into it truly have the desired emotional impact. The title track is probably still my favorite right now although I'll second the love for Take Me Away.

Digging: Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell

ProjectFreak
August 22nd 2019


3881 Comments


"Containing all the grit of a Hot Water Music album with the added charm of The Menzinger’s,"

Sold in the room. Real psyched to spin this

Digging: Infinity Shred - Forever, A Fast Life

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2019


902 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

definitely reminds me of hot water music

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2019


24893 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

cheers everyone! Treb, I can definitely see you enjoying these guys



thx for the kind words Mars and Chan. It's funny because I wasn't even going to post this review and now it's already bnm, lol



@ProjectFreak, thx for inadvertently pointing out a typo ;)



I think I like Hot Water Music better instrumentally (some of the best bass in the genre on their first few albums) but none of their stuff has the emotional impact of "Take Me Away" or "Locking Eyes" imo. Slex compared them to Spanish Love Songs and I think that fits in the case of "Take Me Away", which has maybe my favorite chorus since "Bellyache"

stasar
August 22nd 2019


109 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I gave this an idle listening while working on a project and had some fun. A little more lukewarm than you, but I need to give this another spin to figure myself out.

Digging: Dance Gavin Dance - Acceptance Speech 2.0

cvlts
August 22nd 2019


9622 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Can't decide if this is a 3.5 or a 4 yet. I think I still prefer "Home" to this.



They're trending more towards The Menzingers and Rosenstock than Dillinger Four but it's still a really catchy record.



Would highly recommend seeing these guys live if you ever get a chance. They bring the party hard.

Digging: Korn - Issues

Minushuman24
August 22nd 2019


2359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rips, I shouldn't have doubted how good this would be for a second

They bring the party hard. [2]

Digging: Jawbreaker - Dear You

kris.
August 22nd 2019


15344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ty atari :3



great album, love these guys

kris.
August 22nd 2019


15344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

also every one of their albums is great so if you like this, deff check their older stuff out

fromrows
August 22nd 2019


291 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Love it! "also every one of their albums is great so if you like this, deff check their older stuff out" I agree, my favorite is probably still From The Bottom. I love Hospitals, Home and In Desolation eaqually I think.

Digging: Lightning Bolt - Fantasy Empire

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 22nd 2019


24893 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Anyone enjoying this band should also check out Red City Radio



also, Great Cynics - Don’t Need Much (so underrated)

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
August 23rd 2019


16651 Comments


That summary already picked my interest Atari, great write up, will give it a go.

Digging: Kayo Dot - Blasphemy

JesusCage
August 23rd 2019


317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Diggin' on first listen. Never heard them before.

Digging: Blood Cultures - Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs

MH18
August 23rd 2019


453 Comments


"also, Great Cynics - Don’t Need Much (so underrated)" [2]

Atari
Staff Reviewer
August 23rd 2019


24893 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

my man



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