Tiltwheel / Off with Their Heads - Split [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)

Tiltwheel / Off with Their Heads

Tiltwheel / Off with Their Heads: Split [7 inch]Split [7 inch] (2007)
Fast Crowd / Small Pool

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: briennisbriennis
(others by this writer | submit your own)

These two bands are often mistakenly thought of as planting their flags in the camp of "Dillinger Four-influenced" punk rock. It would, in fact, be far more apt to call them peers of Dillinger Four. Tiltwheel has been around for about 13 years, placing the date of their startup right alongside that .
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These two bands are often mistakenly thought of as planting their flags in the camp of "Dillinger Four-influenced" punk rock. It would, in fact, be far more apt to call them peers of Dillinger Four. Tiltwheel has been around for about 13 years, placing the date of their startup right alongside that of the beloved Twin Cities outfit. As for OWTH, they hail from Minneapolis and have actually had Paddy from D4 turn up on a few of their records as bass player pro tem. So while the comparison may give you a sonic idea of what to expect, let it be known that neither of these bands are blindly aping Fat's finest.

Tiltwheel is providing their first recorded output since 2003's split CD with Watch It Burn. The long-running band has a single full-length to their name, so they won't exactly be winning any "hardest-working DIY band" awards. The lineup has taken a twist, and singer/guitarist Davey Quinn is the only familiar face. However, this new incarnation of Tiltwheel may be just as powerful as previous ones. The first track on the record, "Fuck You, This Place Is Dead Anyways" opens with some up-tempo guitar. Tiltwheel has this talent for simultaneously sounding pretty and furious, something I can't put my finger on, but it's demonstrated perfectly here. Davey starts singing in his slightly high-pitched but still gruff voice and the rest of the instruments rocket in. The tune is pretty anthemic, with non-standard song structure. The lyrics are about Florida and, as always with Tiltwheel, drinking. Davey proclaims that "I don't pray to any god so I can sleep at night." The lyrics are slightly poetic, but you can still guess as to what the fuck he's talking about. I know Tiltwheel is completely sick of the Jawbreaker comparison, but there's a reason people keep saying it. The second song is a little bit slower, a little more standard, and the lyrics are a lot more stupid. It's an angry punk rant that doesn't quite fit Tiltwheel's melancholy: "I'm gonna fucking kill you." If Davey could adopt a punk snarl I might believe him, but as it is, this song doesn't make good on what the first one promises. A pity.

Off with Their Heads have risen astronomically in popularity as of late, thanks to some high-profile releases on No Idea and Chunksaah. The more I listen to them, the less apt the much bandied-about D4 comparison seems. OWTH is much more mid-paced, much more prone to writing sing-alongs, and generally easier to digest. Dillinger Four has more substance. OWTH have made their name on writing song after song of irreversible depression and nihilism, often including drug references and thoughts of suicide. Real talk. The first song here follows suit. It may be one of their better songs, considering the blazing guitar solo and the rapid-fire lyrics. Singer Ryan Young says that "I want to blow my head off my shoulders just to kill the evil things that live inside of me," and the chorus is all about how he "just can't give a fuck." Dark stuff to be sure. Unfortunately, OWTH falls victim to the same trappings that hurt the Tiltwheel side in that the second song is not quite them. OWTH, like Tiltwheel, has had some trouble keeping a stable lineup, and this time around Alex Ulloa of Panthro UK United 13 has joined the fold. He seems to have penned the second song, and it just doesn't sound like OWTH. It's a little more rock 'n' roll, and bigger on the (really, ineffective) denunciation of religion than on the self-loathing. It simply doesn't work as an OWTH song.

So here we have a release that theoretically should've been one of the greater splits to grace the earth this year, but neither band quite brought their A-game. I highly recommend both rock outfits, but this record is not the place to start (even if "Fuck You" is one of my favorite Tiltwheel songs). An interesting side note: The Tiltwheel side of the lyric insert has one of the best layouts I've ever seen. Even that can't save the record from wallowing in unfulfilled potential, though.


People who liked this also liked:
Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyDear Landlord - Dream HomesOff with Their Heads - HospitalsMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeOperation Ivy - Operation IvyFugazi - 13 SongsHüsker Dü - Zen ArcadeDillinger Four - C I V I L W A RHot Water Music - No Division

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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.
Dedricthere (May 8, 2010)

shitWheel is the shit. Fuck that review.

Lmnndtlgrph (December 8, 2007)

You know, as bothered as I was by the 2.5 star review when I first saw it -well, it's not far off.

The tracks ones are good, but the tracks twos are not.

Still, I think I'd give it 3 stars just on the strength of each band's first song.

briennis (December 7, 2007)

i dunno, i would say that a lot of the eclectic qualities of OWTH go away if you put them in context. for example, the last five songs of that collection cd are wacky because they still had keyboards/sang differently/did joke songs/wrote in a completely different style. Other than that, they're pretty consistent (especially on that record).

dontpanic29 (December 6, 2007)

I reallly disagree with what the review says here. To say that Off With Thier Heads has a style beyond writing awesome pop-punk is crazy. listen to thier new collection. the band makes a point of mixing with the formula nonstop. their songs on here make it worth picking up, for the probable 4 bucks you'd spend. and the tiltwheel ones are pretty good too.

jumpkid_638 (December 5, 2007)

I watched Off With Their Heads play a show with Nothington outside of a BBQ joint.
It was colder than balls and everyone was bundled up.
OWTH kicked ass despite the fact everyone was freezing.

What a bunch of awesome dudes.

rearanged3 (December 4, 2007)

tiltwheel are fucking incredible
why don't they tour?! why?!
and where's the discography cd?
and the new album?

SloaneDaley (December 4, 2007)

it has been awhile since I listened to this but I recall being let down.

rejekt (December 4, 2007)

It's awesome that Tiltwheel has been doing a decent amount of 7"s and splits lately. While this one does rock my face off, their full length (which was a good 8 years ago) set the par waaaay too high.
The first OWTH song is them at their best. The second one is good but it should be an unreleased Panthro song, not OWTH.

baseball (December 4, 2007)

wow, that's a long review for a 7"....but a good review

haven't heard this split but it seems like Off With Their Heads have been straying into some different sounds with some of the 7"s they've put out recently...like the Dear Landlord one as well

contrarian (December 4, 2007)

I love these bands. I'm surprised this isn't great, but the reviewer sounds like he's probably spot-on.

ibitchslappedyourmama (December 4, 2007)

I heard Tiltwheels live show may rival TLA's live show in terms of drunkeness. Wish i could see them live.

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