Off With Their Heads

In Desolation

Written by: PP on 29/07/2010 14:33:33

Last time I crossed paths with Minnesota's Off With Their Heads was two years ago when they released their excellent debut "From The Bottom". It was a fun, no-frills street punk record that brought to mind bands like The Flatliners, The Briggs, and Dillinger Four, and impressed so many people that it attracted Epitaph's interest in the band. Time has come for album number two, "In Desolation", and Off With Their Heads pick up just where they left off, fine-tuning their anthemic street punk / melodic punk sound even further to the delight of any punk rock fan.

The songs are driven by buzzing bass guitar, power-chord based up-tempo guitars, and infectious pop melodies shrouded in gravelly vocals a la Banner Pilot. They are heavy on the melodic side, but have enough raw energy and rough edges to keep the tempo going and people dancing. One aspect that has slightly changed since the debut is that the band have integrated more of a Midwestern, working class punk feel to their songs, and reduced the street punk oi, oi oi vibes by an equal amount. So if the songs sounded vibrant before, they're now full of eccentric attitude and riffs that'll make your feet tap. None of it is particularly fancy, in fact the songs are simple all around, but the key is that they're so easy to enjoy that you'd have to be deaf to not like these guys. Take "Trying To Breathe", for instance, which opens with an instantly memorable lyrical passage "I think I'm having a heart-attack..." delivered with a groovy vocal pattern before the song explodes into yet more high-octane melodic punk rock, only to return to a pop chorus in the vein of Against Me!'s latest two albums shortly after.

That's about all there is to say about "In Desolation". If you're looking for a complex, artistically complete album, this isn't for you. On the other hand if you're looking for a fun album with anthemic sing alongs that isn't a pop punk / post-hardcore (etc etc) album with plenty of speed and bass-guitar, then this is definitely for you. Just check out the 'for the fans of' section below and notice how all the bands mentioned are among the new elite of the punk rock genre; Off With Their Heads are well on their way to climbing up the ladder, if "In Desolation" doesn't already put them there.

8

Download: Drive, Trying To Breathe, I Need You
For the fans of: The Flatliners, Banner Pilot, Dillinger Four, The Briggs
Listen: Myspace

Release date 08.06.2010
Epitaph

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