Off With Their Heads - Home (Cover Artwork)

Off With Their Heads

Off With Their Heads: HomeHome (2013)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Home, Off With Theirs Heads' third full-length, (or fourth, depending on which side of the Hospitals debate you land on) finds the group diving deeper into the rabbit hole of experimentation they began digging on 2010's In Desolation, while still remaining firmly grounded in the realm of gritty pop-.
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Home, Off With Theirs Heads' third full-length, (or fourth, depending on which side of the Hospitals debate you land on) finds the group diving deeper into the rabbit hole of experimentation they began digging on 2010's In Desolation, while still remaining firmly grounded in the realm of gritty pop-punk. As such, it's the rare album that should deflect both "all their albums sounds the same" and "sell out!" accusations.

The band recycle a few ideas from past glories: the guitar lick about halfway through opener "Start Walking" strongly recalls "Until the Day I Die" and first single "Nightlife" in nearly structurally identical to In Desolation's "Drive." The group even offer a re-recording of "Janie," one of the strongest tracks from their early days. It's a bit slower than in its original form and Bill Stevenson's booming production shaves some of its rough edges off, making it just different enough to warrant inclusion.

While listeners who look to Off With Their Heads for a reliable dose of gruff-throated, self-hating pop-punk will find it in these tracks, there are plenty of deviations from the standard OWTH formula on Home. "Please Don't Make Me Go" is a post-grunge ballad that, with a more conventional rock vocalist would feel at home sandwiched between the latest Foo Fighters and Green day tracks on your local rock station. "Stolen Away" is similar to In Desolation's biggest experiment "My Episodes" in song structure and lyrical concept, but it contains a stronger melody, and employs synths(!) that help it stand on its own and make it stronger overall.

The new paths the band travel on Home aren't simply limited to music, however; they employ some new tactics lyrically as well. "Focus On Your Own Family," which by the way, is probably the group's best song title since "I May Be a Lot of Shitty Things, But at Least I'm Not a Rapist Like You" is an altogether positive, inspirational anthem, although musically, it's as furious as anything in the OWTH canon.

The only major fault to be found in Home comes in the form of "Take Me Out." It's a fairly standard Off With Their Heads song, which still puts it head and shoulders above most other modern pop-punk. However, compared to the out and out greatness of past closing tracks like "Jackie Lee," "I Hope You Know" and "Clear the Air," it doesn't measure up. It would be a fine addition to the album were it somewhere else in the track listing, especially since the aforementioned "Stolen Away" would have made such a great closer.

The adventurous approach taken on Home recalls what Joyce Manor did on last year's underrated Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired, which is not to say that Home sounds like a Joyce Manor album, but the similarities are striking. There's the weird slow song in the middle that throws off the flow, in the best way possible. There's a song with electronic instruments out of nowhere, and there's a version of a song you already know that sounds different enough to throw you off ("Janie" here, "Video Killed the Radio Star" there.)

In Home, Off With Their Heads have crafted an album that should satisfy both fans looking for more of the same, and listeners who like to see the band stretch their legs a bit, creatively. Ryan Young can still out-gruff almost anyone, but he's also using the cleaner voice he debuted on In Desolation more than ever. You can't please all the people all the time, but Home is an admirable attempt to do just that, and an enjoyable listen that can stand proudly among the band's best work.


People who liked this also liked:
The Menzingers - On the Impossible PastThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Clash - London CallingThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimOff With Their Heads - From The BottomThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangDead To Me - Moscow Penny AnteOff with Their Heads - In Desolation

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
balaka2 (September 19, 2014)

Great record. Makes me want to run out and see a therapist

BrainTrust (April 5, 2013)

I love me some OWTH. Great Album, doesn´t disappoint at all.

iamdamian (March 28, 2013)

This is album of the year, right here. I just called it. If it doesn't grab you the first time, don't worry it will. It's honest, dark and yet somehow uplifting. As a sad bastard, manic depressive, this album hits HOME for me. See what I did there?

screamager (March 25, 2013)

After couple of turns, I think it's one of the best modern punk rock album ever made.

filbunke (March 19, 2013)

This record starts off very strong. The first five tracks are all really great. Then "Don't Make Me Go" comes on and slows everything down. Can't say I enjoy that song too much. The second half of the album isn't anywhere near as good as the first half. A few good songs, and a few that are just okay. "Take Me Out" is a great closer though.

All in all, I like this album a little bit more than "In Desolation".

Favorite tracks: "Nightlife", "Start Walking", "Shirts" and "Take Me Out".

- 8/10

forfuksake (March 19, 2013)

IM liking this record but not as much as I thought I would. In Desolation was better and From the Bottom is way ahead. Hope it grows on me though. These guys are one of the best bands around.

oldpunkerforever (March 18, 2013)

Non stop listening for me, well, this and The Utters new one. I initially gave Home 4 and a half, its a 5 now, album of the year-oldpunker-

ak3punk (March 17, 2013)

I've seen these dudes twice, I didn't mind "In Desolation", but this album blew me away. It's incredible. It really makes me want to go back and re listen to all their old stuff now. What a surprise!

Amoeba (March 17, 2013)

Great production for sure, but other than that, I can't really get into this record. In desolation was on heavy rotation on my ipod and record player for months and months...

wahhey (March 17, 2013)

This will be a contender for album of the year for me. i've been following these guys ever Hospitals and this is just their best stuff yet. It sounds like they've finally figured out a sound that is their own.

655321 (March 15, 2013)

Really enjoying it! I think I like this one better than In Desolation. It took a few listens for me to warm up to it though. I even like Stolen Away and think the album closes perfecly. Don't Make Me Go is the only skipper for me.

elliot (March 14, 2013)

I agree, the lyrics are a little tough to take because there is just no progression at all from Hospitals. He uses the same buzzwords over and over again, same lyrical themes all the time. Again, I really WANT to like this record because I love this band. I don't know, maybe I just have to keep listening.

gnarleydudes80 (March 14, 2013)

I love OWTH but I just can't get into this album. I really hope it grows on me over time, i think i'm just getting burned out on the "I keep messin shit up and I don't know what to do" lyrics...

thepopeofchili-town (March 14, 2013)

"An 8 implies that this record is as good as From the Bottom or In Desolation, and...no. It just isn't. I want it to be, but it isn't."

I didn't review those records, so not really. Although In Desolation got a 7, which I agree with. I like this one more. I would however, rank From The Bottom higher, probably a 9. I stand by the 8.

nickvicious (March 14, 2013)

Dig it. Dare I say that it may have passed True North as my new fav album on 2013?

elliot (March 14, 2013)

The ballad is not very good, neither is that drumless song toward the end. They mostly sound like they always have, but there just isn't enough that stands out.

An 8 implies that this record is as good as From the Bottom or In Desolation, and...no. It just isn't. I want it to be, but it isn't.

fattony (March 13, 2013)

I really like it, but right now it's probably my least favorite of their LPs. Maybe that'll change with time.

OrgcorePunker (March 13, 2013)

Off With Their Heads' sound is definitely evolving in the right direction and I'm wholeheartedly looking forward to hearing what their next two records have in store.

misterspike (March 13, 2013)

I hope it grows on me. "Nightlife" is a standout for me right now, but not enjoying the album, as a whole, as much as previous releases so far.

dangerdangerdanger (March 13, 2013)

Solid... Not sure if it as good as In Desolation but that took a bit to grow on me maybe this will do the same. Not sure how I feel about Janie being my fave song on here.

aaronrkc (March 13, 2013)

P good. Nightlife is the jam.

screamager (March 13, 2013)

A confident, ambitious effort about things that really matters.

oldpunkerforever (March 13, 2013)

wow, so many brilliant songs. Bill really brought out the best. Not enough good things can be said about this one, the best punk record of the year so far-oldpunker-

jimmynorville (March 13, 2013)

I didn't like Take Me Out all that much at first and it certainly doesn't compare to previous album closers, but it has grown on me a lot and I think the very ending of that song works great as the way to end the album.

nocontrol (March 12, 2013)

great from start to finish!

EchosMyron (March 12, 2013)

Hospitals is still the only good thing they`ve ever done.

MN_DrNick (March 12, 2013)

This is by far their best release.

thisrespirator (March 12, 2013)

This is by far the worst thing they've ever done.

inagreendase (March 12, 2013)

I get the Joyce Manor experimentation comparison but that album was a liiittle more ambitious. A step up from 'In Desolation', though. A little flat in spots but it's got its moments ("Nightlife" for sure; maybe their best song ever).

flowerfeeder (March 12, 2013)

Album rules. Their best yet.

kursk64 (March 12, 2013)

Album is so rad. I thought the same about the closer - but I guess anything would have seemed disappointing compared to Clear The Air.

telegraphrocks (March 12, 2013)

Though I love the song, I also agree that "Take Me Out" should have been put elsewhere on the album. "Stolen Away" definitely would have been a better choice as a closer.

mikeinflames (March 12, 2013)

Lyrics aren't obviously depressing enough. Not sure why but that's why I love OWTH.

whiskeyandrecords (March 12, 2013)

Album of the year. Can't wait to see them next week and in June.

telegraphrocks (March 12, 2013)

Love it.
Great dudes, too.

shai (March 12, 2013)

Fav album of 2013 for me yet... The middle ballad does nothing for me though.

drewan187 (March 12, 2013)

I like it, 'Nightlife' is my favourite song of the year so far.

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