I got into Off With Their Heads around the same time I fell for the Hold Steady and Banner Pilot. Not sure how, although it's probably even money on the Nate Ganglehoff/Rivethead/D4 connection. Either way, I played the shit out of the Hospitals EP. There are few better ways to get some shit off your chest in an empty apartment than to crank that puppy and shout along. My neighbors may beg to differ.
Ryan from OWTH is as DIY as he is crazy (which is probably as big as an understatement as the fact that I date crazy ladies). He lives at Alamo House in Minneapolis where he and the roommates do a lot of house shows. Maybe house shows are more fun in the Midwest, but in NYC it can get a little terrifying. Case in point would be the show in Bushwick with The Ergs, Four Letter Word, The Arrivals and Off With Their Heads. Not that it wasn't a blast, but the prospect of seeing another show in a firetrap messenger house is not something I look forward to. That said, it was a lot better than standing around in the backyard of Sealab 187 and being pelted by garbage or waiting around crappy Greenpoint bars for three or four hours to not see them play. I do so love punk scheduling.
Not that I was smart enough to learn anything from the experience, as I bought a ticket to Insubordination Fest seconds after I found that Ryan and the boys would be playing. It was rumored that they would have copies of their new release for No Idea with them and I, for one, was not going to miss snagging a copy. As Insubordination Fest got closer, more and more info about the new record came down the pike: old stuff was going to be re-recorded, there weren't going to be more than one or two new tracks, blah, blah, blah. As I have moved past my vinyl era, it worked for me. I'm way beyond working too hard to get stuff I'm just going to digitize anyway. In doing some digging, most of the re-records were precipitated by the last Fall's infamous OWTH tour of Japan with Yoshi from Snuffy Smile. After Ryan and Yoshi butted heads and the shit-slinging started, Ryan vowed (and I believe this is a pretty exact quote) that he would 'rather be face-fucked sideways than have those songs be available exclusively through Snuffy Smile'. Such eloquence!
Rehashed or not, From The Bottom is a rager from note one to note last. If the boys were redoing crappy songs to fill things out it would be one thing, but if you are going to save me some cash and give me a gang of great songs for $7, I am there with bells on. From The Bottom ain't long, but it sure is great, especially the re-record of For The Four. That itself is worth the price of admission. You're not going to hear any of the tracks here at your next positive affirmation meeting, but if you fall on the more cynical and/or nihilistic end of things, you'll be shouting every word.