So this is the Epitaph debut from Minneapolis, MN’s Off With Their Heads and I’ve heard bitching from some that the vocals are a little cleaner (which they are) and that the production is a little better (which it is) and that somehow detracts from this album. Those people need to quit whining and shut the f up because this still sounds exactly like Off With Their Heads to me but with less pirate-ish vocals. Yeah, again, with In Desolation (their fourth full-length) the band is back with another tightly wound collection of 12 gritty-yet-catchy pop punk songs that you’ll no doubt be singing along to soon if you haven’t already picked this up. The sound is still bass-heavy but also still focuses on Ryan Young’s vocals (does this guy gargle with gravel?) and his brutally honest and personal lyrics which show that (despite his rough exterior) he is vulnerable. Just like the rest of us.
It’s actually kinda funny, but I thought that I read somewhere that Off With Their Heads was the first “punk” band that Epitaph had signed in something approaching 10 years. Ridiculous, right? Good for Epitaph because In Desolation is a beast of a punk rock album filled with huge anthemic choruses that will (almost certainly) find a place on my best of 2010 list later this year. So if you like bands like Dillinger Four, Dear Landlord, or Banner Pilot, you’ll like this. Trust me, I know.
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