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Off With Their Heads

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You know the guy at the party you can always count on to crank up Alkaline Trio or Lawrence Arms? I'm fairly certain he's the guy who helped produce Off With Their Head's new album and scrubbed the dirt behind these punks' ears.

Home has everything that was so great about From the Bottom, the Minneapolis band's seminal 2008 album. Ryan Young's melodic yelling, the driving power chords and simple structures are all intact. With choruses like "I feel like this every night," and reliable backing "whoa-oh-ohs," the album could be a reliable party classic, if your parties regularly involve shirtless sweaty dudes with silly tattoos.

Yet the production has a polish that just doesn't seem familiar—unless you spent plenty of your youth listening to Epitaph Records sampler CDs on repeat. Though Home is a fun and listenable album, it's not exactly Off With Their Heads anymore.

Take the vague rip on the Catholic Church in "Altar Boy:" The anthemic opening and progressions rob the worthwhile message of the raw edge found on older tracks like "Terrorist Attack?"

The chords and lyrics on Home cut more like a butter knife, but it's still worth taking your shirt off.

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