Review: Off With Their Heads 

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Aside from the Social Distortion and Operation Ivy that blasts from the jukebox, there hasn't been a whole lot of music at the Sinking Ship. Despite a very obvious stage and an even more obvious soundboard, the live music at The Ship has been sparse.

Saturday night was a test run for the midtown bar as they try to figure out the ins and out of being a music venue. Even though it was just a test run, the management at the Ship delivered the goods with a free show from Minneapolis grit-punks Off With Their Heads.

Starting just a few minutes after 10 p.m., local punks The Classless kicked the night off with a bang. Featuring former Counteractive bassist Kevin Schatz and two Sinking Ship bartenders, the band had no problem finding friendly faces in the crowd to sing along to their street punk-influenced racket.

Not surprisingly, Sinking Ship owner Damon Lyden's band, The Involuntarys, stirred up quite a pit when they played. Fresh off of an opening gig for NOFX, The Involuntarys certainly owe more than a bit of their sound to the legendary Californian quartet. The set consisted of tracks from their most recent album, Never Say Sober. The crowd seemed more than familiar with the band's tunes as quite which included favorites like the reggae-hued "Airbrushed Under the Rug" as well as new songs like "I'd Rather Be a Faggot Than a Christian."

By the time Off With Their Heads took the stage, the crowd in the room had reached well over a hundred rabid punks. OWTH exploded with a set that included mostly songs from 2008's From The Bottom and 2010's In Desolation. The band has certainly grown considerably in popularity in their early days. A leap from gritty punk label to punk powerhouse Epitaph for In Desolation certainly put them on the map. Regardless of label, OWTH deliver the goods with infectiously gritty pop-punk and super depressing lyrics. The highlight of their set came towards the middle when they roared through 2008's "Until The Day... ". Singer Ryan Young was almost downed out by the crowd as he sang "Until the day I die I fucking swear I'm going to make your life as miserable as mine." Solid gold.

With a pit of enthralled punks and no apparent hang-ups, the Ship is destined to be a new crown jewel in the Indianapolis punk music scene. Let's hope that the bands keep coming through and the beer keeps flowing.

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Nick Selm

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