Last night, they were bouncing between the gutters for Punk-Rock Bowling night at Memory Lanes. Today, they've officially upped their average and announced a new record deal with Epitaph Records. As has been rumored for a few months, Minneapolis punk quartet Off With Their Heads recently signed with the famed California indie label, which was behind Motion City Soundtrack up until last year and has helped launched everyone from Rancid to Atmosphere, plus about 75% of the bands that play on the Warped Tour. Local emo-punks Sing It Loud are also with the label.

Epitaph founder Brett Gurewitz (also a guitarist in Bad Religion) sent OWTH high praise in announcing the deal, saying, "Off With Their Heads might be the best punk band going right now. Epitaph needs them; music needs them." Gurewitz apparently was first exposed to the local boys when they toured with Against Me! in 2008. The band's singer/guitarist Ryan Young underscored how much Epitaph meant to him growing up in a farm town. He said, "I guess you could say Epitaph was my gateway into everything that I would wind up becoming."

Just like Motion City did, OWTH hit the road pretty soon after forming in 2002 and has a bigger national reputation than local presence. Musically, though, the band falls much more in line with Dillinger Four's classic, boisterous, Southern Cali garage-punk sound (D4 bassist Paddy Costello even briefly played in OWTH). The quartet has only put out one full-length record but has a myriad of 7-inches and EPs to its name, many issued on No Idea. Its first record for Epitaph was recently recorded here in town at the Terrarium and is now set for a summer release. In the meantime, the band will -- what else? -- hit the road. It leaves tomorrow for a cross-country jaunt that lasts through mid-March.

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