Reviews Off With Their Heads In Desolation

Off With Their Heads

In Desolation

Off With Their Heads have built a reasonable fanbase within the fest related punk scene. This is due to certain consistency in their style, without being all the same all the time. Gruff vocals, bass heavy songs, and depressing lyrics all have their place in this. So one had to expect a backlash of sorts when, after a series of releases on smaller labels, the band announced signing to Epitaph. Certain things are generally expected when bands sign to the big 'E, bigger budgets, more advertising and cleaner production. Just like one would expect the new record fits with all of these expectations.

The one things that hasn't changed with this album is the songwriting. There isn't much in the way of growth within this new crop of songs. They move along at a clear and consistent pace throughout much like other OWTH records. This is not to say the songs are bad at all. They have just stuck to their guns outside of a few songs that branch out from the blueprint. The first taste that some growth may be coming would be "My Episodes". This song almost plays the spoiler after 2 songs that fit the blueprint this mopey semi rocker rears it's head. The songs is strong and while it isn't their usual style it works pretty well.

The songs are all strong. Well written lyrics that fit their prior mold, melancholy and slightly drunken missives of anger and heartbreak. None of the songs get very fast it all stays generally mid-tempo. This let's the lyrics get their space and the hooks stay in the listeners head. Each song goes by without too many frills or quirks. It's just gruff yet melodic punk the whole way through.

The biggest complaint one could have about this is one of preference. What it comes down to is something i mentioned at the beginning. The clarity of the production is almost too much for me. While it's nice to hear the songs come through clearly in general it feels almost too clean for this style. Even though the gruff style of the music remains, the vocals feel clearer and the production in general feels antiseptic. This makes the record feel less visceral and seems to sap the energy out of the songs. This all belies the strength of the songs as they all feel strong and become a different beast when played live. Overall the listener is treated to a record full of strong melancholy punk songs.

7.5 / 10Jon E.
Radio K 2
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7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

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