Off With Their Heads release Live at the Atlantic, Vol. II

Off With Their Heads have slowed their 7" release pace significantly since hitting the road full time for last year's From the Bottom. Regardless, Sound Study Recordings found a way to get the band to release something new--a live release in the label's Live at the Atlantic series. Volume II brings two live songs from the band's aforementioned full length to add to the band's large arsenal of vinyl-only releases.

For those behind the trolley, Off With Their Heads play upbeat, catchy, chorus-heavy punk with amazingly downtrodden lyrics. "I'll tell you why I fucking hate my life," Ryan Young screams in "I Am You," listing off problems and miseries that, ultimately, he shares with the rest of the species, concluding: "whether or not you admit it we're all the same." It's an energetic, positive sound backed with lyrics drowning in cynicism and loathing. To put it rather bluntly, they are one of the better things going in modern punk.

The sound of the recording is adequate--not exceptional, but not poor either. There is no annoying audience chatter and the cheering is toned down, yet Young's between song banter is immortalized. In it, he sounds tired and drunk (and he likely is), yet focused on his performance. The band hits their notes and Young's vocals straddle the line between pleading and anger despite, as he puts it to start out Side B, the sound being "all over the place. Yeah, put that on your record." Anybody who has seen the band in a local basement will appreciate the recording, but a six minute snippet of a concert is primarily a release for the already converted. It's good for fans, but start elsewhere if you're unfamiliar with them.