A lot of punk bands seem so concerned with sounding angry and chaotic they forget the value of good, solid musicianship. Not so with Minneapolis-based Off With Their Heads. While lead singer Ryan Young does indeed holler about a despairing world, his lyrics are bolstered by tight energetic instrumentals. The combination is compelling; despite Young’s gravelly, deranged-Muppet voice and lyrics that “tell you why I entertain the thought of dying all the time,” the overall ethos of From the Bottom is upbeat and celebratory in a cynical life-sucks-and-we’re-all-going-to-die-anyhow kind of way.
Having sorted through several incarnations—the band’s churned through 15 different members thus far—Off With Their Heads finally has a solid four-man line up that sounds somewhat like Dillinger Four—appropriate, since they have shared musicians. On From the Bottom they shred and growl their way through a dozen percussion-driven tunes about hopelessness and hate. It’s not uplifting, technically, but for those days when the lyrics in “Keep Falling Down”—“I shouldn’t wake up in the morning”—feel like your mantra, this may cure your woes. Or at least let you thoroughly enjoy your despair.
Off With Their Heads plays the Palace Lounge Thursday, Feb. 12, at 9 PM. $5.