Minneapolis breeds a certain kind of musician, one that's tough and able to thrive through biting, bitter winters. Fiery five-piece Off with Their Heads hails from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but don't expect them to recall the band's alt-punk heritage like The Replacements and Hüsker Dü. "I never really got into Hüsker Dü or Replacements. It really never struck too much of a chord with me," says songwriter Ryan Young. Instead, Young was attracted to another Minneapolis punk legend.
"Dillinger Four was one of the first local bands I had seen. I went to every show and sang every word for years." But like all three bands, Off with Their Heads masters a tricky bit of alchemy, combining catchy, upbeat power chords and stacked choruses with dark, literate lyrics about depression, heartbreaks, and being broke after spending too much money on drugs.
"It started as a joke," Young says of combining pop-packed music with bummer lyrics. "Then I realized that that pretty much sums up who I am and would be the truest form of music for me to play. If you ask some of my closest friends, they will say I'm a pretty upbeat and happy guy."--Melissa Fossum