Off With Their Heads are a rare breed of band in that they have been able to pump out three full length albums, several EPs and countless split 7"s worth of music centering around depression, angst, disaffection, isolation, and despondency without ever once having a lyric that seemed forced or ingenuous. The band lays all of this over classic three chord pop punk that calls to mind memories of 90's era Lookout bands as well as hometown chums Dillinger Four, The Arrivals, early Against Me!, Leatherface and other No Idea alumni.
Yet, one can see songwriter Ryan Young beginning to work through many of the Issues presented on Hospitals and From The Bottom, and aiming his acerbic wit at topics less explored on earlier albums. This is perhaps best displayed in the song "Their Own Medicine" which rails against those who victimize others much the way "Your Child is Dead" does on the 2006 Hospitals album. Also featured are several love songs, but with a twist that is with out a doubt classic Off With Their Heads self a facing and debasing double speak.
he album builds to the penultimate track-- "My Episodes" --A slow heartfelt ballad in which Ryan Young express a desire to move past all the depression, addiction, and heartache that has plagued his life for the past five years. There is a brief sense of closure to that chapter of Off With Their Heads' existence. It is then ripped away by the final track "Clear the Air".
"Clear the Air" is an anthem that more or less sums up Off With Their Heads's purpose and outlook. Off With Their heads is an outlet leading to catharsis for Young and his audience. Young never asserts that things suck now, but they will get better, not that they might get worse. The feelings are in the moment. Many listeners will relate to "Clear the Air"s simple refrain of "God damnit, I'm falling apart!". It is not a lofty or elevated expression of the emotions we feel as life seems to be crumbing around us in times of strife, it is the real expression of that anxiety.
That blunt realistic expression is what has drawn so many to Off With Their Heads. Here you have a band writing about the worst parts of life, and putting them over catchy tunes that stay with you. While Off With Their Heads are certainly not the first Punk band to breach these topics in such a fashion, they are the only ones who have carved out a niche for them selves and made these subjects their sole domain. They are also one of the few bands to tackle any subject matter so convincingly for so long with out losing their grip on sincerity.