Off With Their Heads
Morning Glory, Direct Hit!, The Headies
2125 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19103
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Off With Their Heads
The phrase "punk" gets thrown around a lot these days but for over a decade Off With Their Heads has eschewed trends and embodied that ethic with every ounce of their being. Having put out numerous releases and toured the country dozens of times the band are about to release Home, their best-sounding album to date which takes the group's sound to the next level without sacrificing the palpable passion that's made them underground favorites.
Off With Their Heads is the project of Minneapolis native Ryan Young and on Home he's joined by drummer Justin Francis and bassist Robbie Swartwood, the latter of whom has been playing with the group for nearly five years. "It's hard to bring people into a full-time touring punk band because you have to be a musician not someone who is doing this for a hobby," Young admits. "An actual musician is the type of person who does this because it's what they do. Money is always nice but you have to expect nothing and still play like you care."
For their second release on Epitaph the band teamed up with one of Young's heroes, Descendents' drummer Bill Stevenson who produced the album at the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado—and the result is an album that captures the raw passion of Off With Their Heads' live shows without obscuring any of the instrumentation with a slick, studio sheen. "It was really important that this record didn't sound too polished so once we agreed on a general sound of the record it was great," Young explains. "It's definitely the best-sounding record that we've done."
Home is also the strongest collection of Off With Their Heads' songs to date and certainly the most diverse. From the instantly catchy sing-alongs of "Shirts" to straight-ahead, Ramones-influenced ragers like "Seek Advise Elsewhere" and stripped-down ballads like "Don't' Make Me Go," Home shows how much the band have grown sonically since their last release, a development that is no doubt due to the fact that the band have spent so much time on the road touring with everyone from Municipal Waste to Kind Of Like Spitting in everything from massive theaters to basements.
If there's a lyrical theme on Home, it's personal experiences whether that ranges from struggles with identity ("I don't feel like me, whatever that's supposed to be" from "Shirts") to tales from the road. However as you might expect it all comes back to the fact that for a full-time touring punk rocker the word "home" has a very unique connotation. "I think I used to take for granted the simple notion of having an apartment in Minneapolis," Young explains. "The album is about the bad feelings associated with being at home, why people leave home, and how important it is to have a good one."
Over the course of these twelve songs Young expresses that sentiment in different ways and the content on the disc explores everything from being oppressed because of one's sexuality ("Focus on Your Own Family") in addition to more personal writing that exposes Young's own misgivings about the Catholic church and the impact it's had on his family life ("Altar Boy"). Then there's a song like "Don't Make Me Go" which guest vocalist Tony Kovacs from Shot Baker summarized telling the band, "OWTH has a story and this explains a lot." Listening to the impassioned track, it's evident why this is true.
Having toured with everyone from Bad Religion to the Dropkick Murphys, Young has learned that in order for him to maintain his ethics he tells his bandmates that "playing a show in front of 6,000 people is no different than playing a house show" and you can tell by the group's countless live performances that this isn't just lip service. "I'm proud that I have pretty much maintained my core beliefs over the years," he explains. "Opening for my heroes is cool but that's their crowd and I have always been about carving my own part through all of this."
Despite the fact that Off With Their Heads have performed everywhere from Jacksonville to Japan over the past decade, it's clear that even if OWTH never left Minneapolis they would be doing the exact same thing just as passionately. "Everything involved with this band has become larger and more successful than I could have hoped for," Young admits, citing signing to Epitaph as one of these milestones. "The only goals I have for myself and OWTH is to continue to make music that I care about, try to push myself physically and musically and continue to be able to do what I love for a living."
M-Glory is a group of New York City musicians who came together in the interest of making music fun for themselves again. With roots deep in the politi-kil punk scene of the Lower East Side and Brooklyn, MG's lyrical content never strays far from the things they see as axiom, tho it tends to be more personal than other bands and projects they've been in over the years.
The music is heavy and melodic and meant to be played out doors under the sun. Big anthemic choruses and sped up verses bring it somewhere in between early Oasis and The Clash (or so it's been heard), yet they defy and abhor labels, preferring just to write what they hear in their collective head, calling music making an exorcism of the insomnia demons. Playing for the despondent, kids who lost their families or come from broken homes, and those who are destitute or trying to exit a bad situation, popularity and commercial success mean nothing to MGlory. (Recently they turned down a deal with a record label because they were told the songs were too long. Ezra said "songs are as long as they need to be and we're not going to change em just so we can be on a big fuckin record label.")
If even just one kid out there somewhere hears the music and makes it thru another day, or gets thru life in a shit town where everything sucks and he's tormented and outcast for being gay, or just wearing freaky black clothing, Mglory will have done it's job.
The newest record due for release in the upcoming winter/spring occasionally has an accompanying orchestra, or string quartet, and is more piano driven than previous material they've tracked. While staying true to their punk/squatter ethics the band is determined not to be pigeon-holed or labeled, and generally hopes the music will speak for itself. A type of music they're calling "Revolution Rock". (But bearing in mind the only war worth winning is the war within... it's a revolution of the heart and of the mind.) Keeping it dance-able and fun, all thanks is given from the band to the fans, whom they recognize as the real breath and soul of the group. Which makes their job of coming together to make music fun again a pleasure indeed. With this band the audience really IS a part of the music. Without the fans this band would not be happening. M-Glory is a concept that belongs to the fans... and everyone knows it.
Revolution Rock On!
"Brainless God" is a 12-song horror story brought to you by some not-so-brainless Milwaukee punks. Direct Hit! (henceforth known as The Four Horsemen of Pop Punk) have been tearing up basements and house gigs with their searing live show for a couple years now, and we knew it was time to include them in the Red Scare ranks. Turns out they had an album already written full of frantic hooks and songs that mock The Almighty? Ummm, yes please! Then we enlisted All-American Rejects guitarist and audio maven Mike Kennerty to ensure these 12 apocalyptic episodes were captured properly on tape. This album came out sounding so good you'd almost think Direct Hit! made a pact with Old Scratch himself. Does that mean we have to pay him royalties too?!?
Delaware's finest pop punk troupe brings you a much-delayed, highly-anticipated dose of perfectly prepared pop punk! No matter how good I tell you this record is, you're still going to be blown away when you hear it.
First Unitarian Church
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