State Theatre Portland
Off With Their Heads

Off With Their Heads

Single Mothers, Crunchcoat

Tue, August 13, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Port City Music Hall

Portland, ME

$14 Advance / $17 Day of Show

This event is all ages

Buy tickets in person at the Port City Music Hall box office (504 Congress Street) Wednesday-Friday 10AM-5PM, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or online right here. PCMH box office will open one hour before doors night of show.

Off With Their Heads
Off With Their Heads
Off With Their Heads’ new album, Be Good, distinguishes itself from the rest of the band’s catalog with one very unique characteristic: It’s actually good. Frontman Ryan Young thinks so, anyway.

“It’s the first record I’ve ever made that I like,” laughs Young. “Because there was no reason to make it anything other than what I wanted it to be.”

The band has been relatively quiet over the last few years, largely because Young was tending to an ill family member who ultimately passed away last year. But through mourning came inspiration.

“She was a photographer, and at the wake were all these photos she took,” he remembers. One of those photos struck him immediately. It shows a Mennonite family enjoying a sunny day at the beach while an ominous cooling tower looms in the background. “I said: That’s gonna be the cover of the album that doesn’t exist yet.”

That photo captures the spirit of Be Good. While all of Off With Their Heads’ previous work shares a common thread of being rooted in Young’s fatalistic view of the world, Be Good at least allows a tiny glimmer of hope to peek through.

“All the other records were about moping around and feeling sorry for yourself,” says Young. “This one is less about feeling sorry for yourself and more about accepting how goddamn miserable you are.”

Forced acceptance is big theme of Be Good, though it’s a hard-learned one, often emerging in the form of primal screams in the band’s trademark style of gruff-punk. “Hands up to the sky and shout at the top of your lungs, til the floor falls out!” Young yells on the title track, sounding somewhere between motivational speaker and hard-nosed therapist.

Much of the self-deprecation that defined the band’s previous work has been adjusted. It was the years spent out of the van, developing a life at home in Chicago, that gave Young his newfound, slightly more positive perspective. “Not being on the road 250 days a year, actually trying to develop some sort of life outside of playing shows and drinking, you’d be surprised what that does,” he says. “I’ve lost a bunch of weight, I’ve been going to a gym every day, trying not to kill myself all the time.”

Young and the band members—bassist Robbie Smartwood, guitarist John Polydoros, and new drummer Kyle Manning—holed up for two and a half weeks at Pachyderm Studios, a mid-century mansion in Minnesota where Nirvana recorded In Utero, to make Be Good. Young produced the record himself, and it was the first time he enjoyed the process, or at least tolerated it. “I don’t like how the old records sound, and I hate recording so much,” he says. “You could just hear all the dumb shit on them where I was like, whatever, just let it go, I want to get out of here.”

Be Good will be released by Epitaph Records on August 16 and, if ever there was a time for Ryan Young’s distinct brand on cautious optimism, it’s now. “The title is an answer to that question of what you’re supposed to do now that the world is so awful and the climate of this stupid country is so shitty,” he says. “Be good, be loud—that’s sometimes all you can do, I guess, as cheesy as that sounds.”
Single Mothers
Single Mothers
"Combining scab-peeling punk with speak-shout vocals reminiscent of the Hold Steady, this band of townies from London, Ontario, ruthlessly skewers hypocrites, McSweeney's snobs, drunk assholes, and God, just to name a few." - Pitchfork
"The start-stop dynamics and serrated vocal hooks of London, Ontario's Single Mothers instantly remind one of the early 2000's, when At the Drive-In, the Blood Brothers, and other sorely missed bands combined math-rock, emo and hardcore into something so scarily close to pop, they couldn't help but implode." - Pitchfork
"It’s a lesson in the power of punk, as the 52-second ‘Womb’ emphasizes: “Rock’n’roll is a sacrifice/So I let you take my body and I threw away my life”.- NME
"Known for their explosive live show, unrelenting punk rock appeal and a palpable tension that seems to bleed into their music, this is a band with some serious brawn behind them" - Noisy/Vice
"Single Mothers is one of those bands you just have to see to believe. " - Exclaim
'Our Pleasure' reviews
'Single Mothers refreshingly don't care if you like them or not. So take them or leave them, but you'd be a fool to miss out.' 8/10 - Kerrang!
'Overall, Our Pleasure feels musically intricate on a new level--thicker basslines, much more pronounced drums and priding itself with a lot of guitar-driven character. It's them at their most distinct and honestly, most assertively powerful stance.' 4/5 - Punknews
'..beneath the blown-out speakers is timeless songwriting that could be stripped down to the bones and still stand on its own.' 7/10 - Exclaim
'It finds the group evolving while holding on to what was best about their first LP, and they remain a singular and bracing punk rock band for people who think they're too smart for punk rock. Well worth your time and attention.' 8/10 - Allmusic
Negative Qualities Reviews
'While Thomson rants, Single Mothers rage.- 7.4/10 - Pitchfork 'A debut brimming with bile.' 8/10 - NME

'A rapid barrage of sludge-rich bass, scalding guitar distortion and wrist-popping drums fill atop frontman Drew Thomson's infuriated black humor.' - 8/10 Alternative Press
Portland, Maine Pop Punk. Danny, Jason, Lydia.
Venue Information:
Port City Music Hall
504 Congress St
Portland, ME, 04101