Off With Their Heads’ new record is melodic, passionate punk rock. The way emo should’ve sounded if it didn’t get caught up with all the fashion and pop culture status. This is rough around the edges but soft in the centre. It’s tough, it’s vulnerable but more importantly is a great record from this Minneapolis outfit.
In Desolation explores that well worn theme of love lost and loneliness; trying to wrap your head around what is happening, what went wrong and why the hell you feel like this when it falls apart. You’ve got to wonder if vocalist Ryan Young went through heartbreak in writing this album or whether it comes from experiences of his own or others. Either way, it’s a great reference piece for confused young men trying to understand relationships.
Musically, it comes across a lot like Avail and contemporaries like The Flatliners, Dillinger Four and even a hint of The Gaslight Anthem thrown in for good measure. The constant touring has made the group a tight musical outfit (and that is despite the revolving door of members, at last count, fourteen!). They definitely follow the punk rock ethos of constant touring, continually writing and staying true to their original sound. While this is only the band’s second full length album, they have also released fifteen EPs and split albums.
Off With Their Heads is about singing your heart out, whether it’s for the good times or the low times. I think a lot of people can relate to tracks like ‘ZZYZX’, ‘I Need You’, ‘My Episodes’ and ‘Clear The Air’ and I can see this album featuring on a number of end of year top ten lists. It’s honest, it’s heartfelt, it strikes a chord, it is just good emotive punk music. (again, not to be confused by fringes and black nail polish.)