we are not a Irish band
Flea markets, junk shops, boxcars, records, cassettes, hot sauce, the hiss and crank sounds of travelling amusement rides, rusty old farm tools, whiskey, Halloween, cider, cinnamon, margaritas, and that campfire smell you can’t get out of your clothes.
Formed out of the ashes of Philadelphia punk rock band The Orphans comes the prolific anarcho-folk-punkers Mischief Brew. Beginning with a scratchy old Demo tape back in 2000 they’ve gone on to produce a whole host of albums and EP’s. Numerous tours have taken them back and forth right across north America and they’ve even been to Europe and these shores a few times. Having always heard a fair amount about them but never actually hearing as much as a single song I took a chance and bought their new EP. Released a couple of weeks ago its dirt cheap like all their recordings and is pretty damn good too so I will certainly be going on to invest some of my hard earned into them.
When I was a kid a mate lent me a Hawkwind album. To say I was impressed is a understatement so off I trotted to our local record shop grasping me pocket money with the intention of getting another Hawkwind disc. Imagine my horror when I get to the section with the H’s and found out that not only did they have their own section but it had about thirty albums in it. I decided there and then i couldn’t afford to be a Hawkwind fan so off I went to the S section and got me a Sham 69 album instead! I kind of get that feeling with Mischief Brew too. That getting into them may well bankrupt me but not just that. I’m so far behind that try as I will I wont ever catch them up!!! Rather that write out their full discography check it out here yourself and see what I mean. Must add at this point though that if you fancy the challenge the band have solid DIY roots and sell their music incredibly cheap.
This EP (their 3rd release this year!) starts off with ‘O,Pennsyltucky!’ and is yer classic ode to yer home town/ city/ state/ country. Like most decent love songs there’s a fair bit of darkness involved and like all the best love songs honesty is the best policy. Pennsyltucky is a slang combination of the names of the two states Pennsylvania and Kentucky. Almost like a punk rock ballad the song soars above you with great vocals and lyrics
“Where we all come from
Most died of the Black Lung
Another, a browbeater, boxer, and saint
When he finally got caught,
The cops made a few calls
They opened his cell
Never fought him again
In O Pennsyltucky!
Your three mile islands
The coal fires buckle the miners’ highways
I love just to see you
But it’s good to leave you
And old Filthadelph
Hostile City, PA
Was that a peepshow
With drive-thru windows?
The gun show’s got carousels and funnel cakes
It says “Church” in neon
And asks me what’s beyond
If I had to guess, I’d say more of the same”
‘We Are The Ground’ follows and is a much more traditional country track with just acoustic guitar and tambourine until up pops a nice country guitar solo. More class lyrics about the ‘real Amerikay’
“I know it seems we’re always stuck
Tires spinnin’ in the mud
But I swear: we move along, not stick around
Change ain’t always comin’ soon
One step fro but two steps to
And it’s worth the wait to see ‘em hit the ground”
The EP ends with ‘”Dirty Overhauls’ a kinda-Woody Guthrie cover, rearranged by the band and then put back together. The punkiest of the the EP’s tracks but still with that unmistakeable folk twist and even a good bit of country thrown in and even more of Mischief Brew’s great lyrics.
“Well, I give you my sweat
And I give you my blood
I give you your bread and your wine
Before I be any man’s slave, I’ll be rotting down in my grave
Lay me down in my dirty overhauls”
Well I am suitably impressed and already well on the road to bankruptcy with their ‘Songs From Under The Sink’ album just ordered! Three great tracks which stick closely to pretty much how I imagined they would sound despite all three tracks being musically quite different. The lyrics standout especially but overall a fantastic EP that should you invest in you’ll definitely want to hear more.
Contact The Band
Buy The EP
Mischief Brew Record Company
Tagged: Mischief Brew