I was late to the game in regards to Off With Their Heads. I did not hear Hospitals until 2008. Basically, I slept on that record for 2 years. I was pretty mad that I did.
A lot can be said for an album that is so fucking catchy, but still so fucking dark. For their Epitaph debut, OWTH have basically taken parts of all their previous releases, and mixed them down to a coherent release.
The songs on In Desolation would stand up against anything in their vast discography. But, with the Epitaph production budget, this record just SOUNDS great. Production wise, it sounds better than an album this dirty has a right to. But, it is not overproduced.
This album is short of filler. Gun to my head, I am not really digging “My Episodes” very much. It almost kills the momentum of the record. This is still an ok song, it just sticks out a little too much. Luckily it falls right at the end of the album, rather than smack in the middle.
As far as stand out song, “Clear The Air” is probably my favourite on the record. It is an excellent closer, and a generally fantastic song. “ZZYZX” is another one of those “fuck you, i just want to be left the fuck alone” type songs. And, goddamnit if they did not do a good job of it. The lead off single “Drive” works well as an album opener. It sets the pace for the whole album well. As for the “deluxe” version Epitaph is selling, there is an extra song called “I May Be A Lot Of Shitty Things, But At Least I’m Not A Rapist Like You.” Pretty much a fuck you song. Great all the way around.
Enough bullshit though. Basically, if you were a fan of Off With Their Heads before, you have no reason not to like this record. A lot of shit has been said about this being released on Epitaph, but disregard any of that. Epitaph got themselves a winner here. Buy this record if you like catchy as hell songs about drugs, depression, stress, and anger. It is a cathartic album, and sometimes that is all you need. I will throw this 4.5 out of 5.
Info @ Epitaph.com: http://www.epitaph.com/artists/album/598/In_Desolation