Tag Archives: Mischief Brew

OBITUARY: REMEMBERING ERIK PETERSEN

by Dave Hughes

“So tattoo our arms and raise our glasses, call out your name at New Year’s Eve, maybe next time we kneel at a casket, we can say at least the story’s complete”

Erik 2

Folk punk can get a bad rap. Out on the internet there are thousands of bad recordings of badly sung and badly played songs about Things That Are Bad (™). Songs that lack nuance, metaphor and melody. Then there was Erik Petersen. He was different, he was the master of crafting a song around an ancient melody, turning a phrase, and constructing a tale full of metaphor, life, death and everything in between. It breaks my heart to be writing an obituary for Erik, he was one of my heros, he was a friend, and above everything else he was a genius.

Erik was a long time player in the Philadelphia punk scene. His band The Orphans split up in 2000, but not before writing some amazing slices of hardcore (check out The Government Stole My Germs CD from their Raise The Youth anthology). Near the end of The Orphans, a shut down show might mean Erik grabbing an acoustic guitar and playing some unplugged songs instead. There is a show on Youtube from a veterans hall, a young Erik sits on a chair in the middle of a room of punks playing early versions of songs that would go on to be Mischief Brew. Erik, himself, had commented that this scratchy footage was the start of Mischief Brew.

Erik 1Between The Orphans and Mischief Brew there was the Kettle Rebellion. The Kettle Rebellion was a tight three piece of Erik, Jon Foy on Bass and Chris Doc Kulp on drums. They played a style that could be described as Medieval Folk Punk, the kind of hardcore that you’d hear while you strolled through a renaissance fair. An eight track LP was recorded in 2002, but before it could be released, the master tapes were stolen and leaked to archaic MP3 sharing sight Soulseek. In response, Erik scrapped the project. Years later, he stumbled across a version of the master tapes and decided to put it out. In 2013, the Kettle Rebellion LP was finally released through Fistolo on Vinyl, and my own record label, Different Circle Records, on CD.

Erik and Mischief Brew were DIY to the core, and before going on with the story, I have to introduce Denise. Denise was Erik’s wife and partner in crime for over 20 years. Emails sent through to Fistolo would invariably be responded by Denise. She’s a wonderful small package of vibrancy, smiles and energy. There’s also the Pugs, a Mischief Brew article is not complete without bringing up the Pugs. The Petersens rehomed many pugs through the years, and they were a common feature at their American shows. Check out the early recording of Erik playing at a PunX Picnic and you’ll hear one of them, perhaps Garcia, yelping along to Erik’s genius. Up the Pugs.

Erik 4In 2003, Erik released a split record with Robert Blake entitled Bellingham/Philadelphia, and also a more electric EP known as Bakenal. These were the start of the Mischief Brew sound that the underground world would associate with Petersen. It was on the Bakenal EP that the anthem “Roll Me Through the Gates of Hell” first appeared, with it’s rally cry of “I am a leader but you will not follow me” providing the spit and sawdust that anarcho-folk had been looking for. Lyrics from this song would be sprayed across walls around the world, most prominently across the outer wall of the Squat-cum-Social-Centre Knoflook in Den Bosch, Netherlands. Footage of Erik standing on the bar at Knoflook (during their last Europe Tour in 2008) singing Jawbreaker’s Boxcar can be found on YouTube. It’s a moment of pure joy, and testament to how he could command a room with his guitar.

Mischief Brew had a few line-up changes through the years, finally settling on a three-piece core of Erik, Shawn St Clair on Bass and Erik’s brother Chris Petersen on drums. Occasionally they’d be joined by Kettle Rebellion’s drummer Doc on percussion and second guitar duties. They released albums infrequently, but at a pace that was slowly increasing in recent years. The initial full length, Smash The Windows, was released in 2005, with its smash the system electric folk punk featuring guest spots from Stza from Leftover Crack and Franz Nicolay (solo artist and past member of The Hold Steady). Featuring a reworked Kettle Rebellion track called A Liquor Never Brewed and a full band Roll Me Through The Gates of Hell, this is the place to start with Mischief Brew.

From there we got Songs from under the sink (an acoustic collection of ‘forgotten’ old songs), The Stone Operation (a European influenced carnaval of a record) and the latest This is Not For Children (their punk rock roots coming to the fore). In between there was a smattering of EPs, the greatest of these being Eriks side of Photographs from the Shoebox (a split with Joe Jack Talcum). On this EP, you will find Labour Day Massacre, one of the prime examples of Erik’s socially conscious political songwriting.
Erik 3Mischief Brew played a lot of shows in America. From small cafes with acoustic guitars in front of a close crowd,  to an audience of thousands at the NYC Bowery Ballroom with The Hold Steady. They toured Europe twice, the last time in 2008 and were about to start another visit here next week. Youtube is a library of live performances, but that only gives you an impression of what it was like to be there.

I’ll finish this with a story about the last time I saw Erik, Denise and Mischief Brew. I found myself living in Brooklyn in 2013 and feeling quite homesick. Mischief Brew had a show booked at a dive bar called Grand Victory which I had frequented a few times. I went along, expecting a small turn-out and to hear some of my favourite songs belted out. I hadn’t seen them since 2008 when they had played in Glasgow (on borrowed guitars due to a fuck-up by the airline), but soon bumped into Chris and Shawn as if it had been yesterday.

There must have been around 200 showing up to this bar show, DaysNDays and Absinth Rose supported, and it was life affirming. From opening with Children Play with Matches to the closing anarchy of Roll me Through the Gates of hell, I was sweaty, hoarse throated and absolutely elated. I headed to the merch desk to buy a vinyl copy of the Stone Operation, and when hearing my thick scottish accent, Denise automatically recognised who I was and the night truly started. I sat at the end of the bar, unending stream of whisky, with Erik, Denise, Shawn, Chris, Doc and Maria (Denise’s sister). They invited me back to Maria’s flat with them for more drinks and merriment. Erik and Shawn drove ahead with the gear and we stayed at the bar to finish our drinks.

Erik 5By the time we arrived at Maria’s, Erik and Shawn were asleep on the sofas with three pugs dancing around the apartment. The rest of us stayed up a while in the kitchen, drank fruit flavoured beer, and I felt like I truly belonged. I went to sleep on the floor with a pillow that was given to me, but awoke with a blanket over me and a pug on my head. Once we were all awake, we sat around and chatted about life, music, and plans. We ordered burgers, ate, and bid our farewells as I ventured out in the hot Brooklyn sun. I’d lost a day, but gained a life time.

I’m sitting writing this in a flat in Paisley, Scotland, with my Mischief Brew T-shirt (bought at the show in Brooklyn), my “May All We Do Be All For Our Delight” tattoo on my arm, trying to comprehend where we go from here. Erik Petersen soundtracked my last 10 years, gave me inspiration for my own songwriting and journey, bonded me with some of my closest friends, and gave me something to strive towards. No Gods, No Masters, No Setlists.

Fair Well Good Fellow, the tape has slowed down, but the music won’t stop.

Find out more about Erik’s great legacy of songs and other work by following the links-

Facebook  WebSite  MySpace  Twitter  YouTube  Bandcamp

STOP-PRESS

Friends of Erik have set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for his wife and family to help get them through all this without the added worry of funeral expenses and to help them get by in this tough time. All of the money raised will be given to his wife, Denise. The campaign can be found here so donate if you can and if you can’t then please share.

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EP REVIEW: UNDER A BANNER- ‘Victory Time’ (2015)

Under A Banner are a folk-punk band that are passionate, powerful, poetic and rock hard!

Under A Banner- Victory Time EP

We planned to review Under A Banner as soon as we came across them early last year but unfortunately it went in the ‘To Do’ pile and just stayed there and got no further. Thankfully this prolific band had another record release just around the corner and it has given us the chance to put things right. Just recently we seem to have been inundated with folk-punk bands. From the solo acoustic of Bryan McPherson to the punky Mischief Brew to the beautiful Jack Of All it seems that ths is the folk-punk moment in time! As with the before mentioned bands there’s not possibly a great deal if all you’re interested in is solely celtic music but London Celtic Punks blog is not just about celtic-punk and if we like something we cannot wait to share it with you. Which brings us back to Under A Banner.

Under A Banner Left to right : Kat Davis - keyboards. Tim Wilson - Drums and backing vox. Adam Broadhurst - lead vox and guitars . Jake Brooks - guitars and backing vox. Si Hill - bass

Under A Banner  Left to right : Kat Davis – keyboards. Tim Wilson – Drums and backing vox. Adam Broadhurst – lead vox and guitars . Jake Brooks – guitars and backing vox. Si Hill – bass

Based in Wolverhampton in the Midlands Under A Banner play an infectious and catchy brand of folk-punk caught somewhere between The Levellers at their softest, New Model Army at their punkest and a smidgeon of Ferocious Dog and a wee bit of the youthful Billy Bragg before he fled to Dorset and started voting Lib-Dem. The tunes are quintessentially English with both the folk and the punk influences. They gig relentlessly and its easy to tell that they have honed their skill as a live band with this perfect release.

to download for free click on the album sleeve

Under A Banner have done the near impossible for any band and have managed to transfer that great live sound onto record. They have even released a free five track live album so you can sample them doing what they do best for yourselves. I don’t know exactly why it is but it always seems hard to genuinely capture celtic (or folk) -punk bands energy on record. One of the problems I suppose is that we are a genre that is best experienced live in concert with good friends, a lively appreciative crowd and with one or two (or more!) drinks with you. Anyhow download it by clicking on the record sleeve and you will see for yourself what I mean. Needless to say you will end up hooked like I did.

With one release at least every year since they formed Under A Banner have kept up an incredibly high standard of songwriting and they have surpassed themselves again with ‘Victory Time’. From the opening bars of ‘The Network’ the EP punches you in the gut and leaves you reeling. Kicking off with the sound of an accordion and some fast paced drumming and Adams vocals driving the tune along and a song about how things like facebook and television leaves us all isolated from each other.

“this network wastes my bloody time”

The second track is title song ‘Victory Time’ and is as good a drinking song you will hear. Its a real pint in the air moment with a raucous catchy tune and real singalonga chorus. The title refers I think to when you get a lock-in in the pub. It certainly feels like a victory to me when it happens anyway!

‘Leaving Here’ doesn’t slow things down and with the organ pushing things along the New Model Armyish tune will have you feeling the need to leap about in your living room. Next up is firm fan favourite ‘Summer Skies’  and it is the only song that on the EP that isn’t brand spanking new and is a re-working of the track that first appeared on their 2012 LP ‘The Ragged Rhythm Of Rain’.

The EP ends with ‘Magic Is Real’ and Under A Banner pull out all the stops with a multitude of instruments on the go and although it never gets going in the same way as the EP’s other songs its a real grower. At just under twenty minutes you definitely get your hard earned worth and the EP is available for Download or on an actual CD from the band themselves below.

Of course by far the best way to experience Under A Banner is to see them live and if you live in or near London you will have the perfect opportunity coming up soon at the Ambition Festival in Croydon. The band are playing this free festival on Saturday 25th July headlining on the ‘Queens Garden- No Rubbish Stage’. So stock up on beer and sun-cream and join us at the front of the stage at 7pm. The following day, on the Sunday, London-Irish psycho-ceilidh celtic-punkers Neck are also playing the festival so looks like being a full on South London weekender! The full festival line-up, maps and any other details you will need can be found here. This looks a really good event and, for what we like, its completely free too so we all doff our scally caps to the organisers. So have a listen and then check out Under A Banner and come see them live you will have no better excuse I tells you!

(you can listen to the whole EP by pressing play on the Bandcamp player below)

Contact The Band

WebSite  Facebook  YouTube  Twitter  Bandcamp  Soundcloud

Buy The EP

FromTheBand

ALBUM REVIEW: MISCHIEF BREW- ‘This Is Not For Children’ (2015)

Labelled as everything from ‘celtic-punk’ to ‘gypsy-punk’ to ‘pirate-swing’ to ‘anarcho-circus-music’. 

They are all and none of these! 

MISCHIEF BREW- 'This Is Not For Children' (2015)

North-Eastern American folk-punkers Mischief Brew celebrate their fifteen year landmark with the release of ‘This Is Not For Children’, their fourth studio album and their first on the world renowned Alternative Tentacles record label. Formed in 2000 out of the ashes of various deceased local punk bands in Philadelphia they have seemingly been on non-stop tour ever since. With a whole rack of albums, EP’s, compilation albums behind them Mischief Brew have moved away from the experimental sound of their early days and have developed into a mighty fine band that has the power to both entertain both yer body as well as influence yer mind. Written in a South Philly garage with three instruments, the occasional sound of acoustic guitar, violin, junk percussion and  glockenspiel among others creep in but basically ‘This Is Not For Children’ sticks to the Mischief Brew game plan and comes out on top.

MISCHIEF BREWUnlike many of their previous releases their are only ten tracks on this album but with it clocking in at forty minutes you get a more relaxed band who seem at ease with their sound. Unrushed even when whizzing through the punky album opener ‘Two Nickels’. They follow it up with ‘Bad Heart’ another punky number that takes them further away from that ‘folk-punk’ moniker but they keep one foot firmly in place. ‘Lancaster Avenue Blues’ tells of yuppie property developers renaming neighbourhoods to encourage gentrification. A catchy tune with laid back chugging guitar and fiddle. The anger in the song builds up as they defend their home.

“This is where we live”

What seems to be a global phenomenon of the rich wanting to live and take over the areas where the working classes live…once they have stripped said area of anything that gave them a bit of notoriety or passion. This is something we know in London only too well. Legions of the middle class move on masse to an area effecting housing and rent prices forcing the poorer to leave. That theme is expanded on in the next song ‘City Of Black Fridays’ is a tribute to Philly’s heavily industrial past and working class history. Over five minutes long its an acoustic anthem that brings up various instruments as well as before mentioned glockenspiel.

“We are beaten, full of crow, but I know I’d never call another home ‘home'”

‘Squatter Envy’ follows and wonders if we’re all jealous of the lifestyles of squatters. Hmmm not sure. It’s tongue in cheek sure but squatting should be a necessity not a lifestyle choice especially if you’re gonna boast about it to my face! It always seemed a bit perverse to me the amount of posh squatters in London. It is after all a lot more risky when you have no financial safety net. More than a faint nod towards the anarcho-punk musical scene of the 80’s here. ‘Danger: Falling Pianos’ starts a bit jazzy and is Mischief Brew from fifteen years ago. Next up is ode to their home region ‘O, Pennsyltucky!’ which was released as a single last year and was reviewed by us here so no need to repeat ourselves just click and read the review! A really great song and captures Mischief Brew at possibly their most accessible and possibly even their very best.

(cool fan made live video below but to see the official video go here…its also well worth checking out!)

Title track ‘This Is Not For Children’ rattles along superbly and is the highlight of the album for me. More of the same and no harm in that at all. ‘No Candlesticks’ is another highlight and perhaps the album’s most folky song but still with that strong punk edge to it. The LP ends with the heartfelt tribute to lost friends ‘Slow Death Hymn’ and lead singer Erik sings in his tender voice of cancer, heroin and tragedy but he rallies the album so that it ends on a positive note with talk of suicide ended with the great line

“I’ll take life, don’t care if it’s fair!”

And that in a nutshell is the album. Yeah their home town ain’t all that great but it is home. Warts and all. Just because the road to a more faire and equal society is not an easy one is no reason to give up. We’re here for the long haul and if you can’t take a couple of setbacks then maybe you were just faking it all along like we always thought. Mischief Brew have the ability to take subjects like gentrification, workers’ rights, squatting, baseball, drinking, growing up and horror movies and mould them together and give them meaning in a way many bands cannot do. They are a band that wants more out of life than to just sell records they want to inspire you to action and they have the ability to do it in spades.

(To listen to the whole album simply press play on the Bandcamp player below)

Contact The Band

Facebook  WebSite  MySpace  Twitter  YouTube

Buy The Album

AlternativeTentacles  Amazon  iTunes

CATCH UP 2014 REVIEWS! BLACK 47, CELKILT, BIG ART PETERS, CRUACHAN, MY LIFE IN BLACK AND WHITE, DUCKING PUNCHES, DEIEDRA, HARD UP, JOHNNY KOWALSKI AND THE SEXY WEIRDOS, LES FOSSOYEURS SEPTIK, NOWHEREBOUND, THE POKES

Here at 30492- LONDON CELTIC PUNKS blog we much prefer to do really detailed reviews but its been impossible for us to keep up with all the great releases we have come across so here’s a few quick ones just to catch up and get 2014 out of the way. Each and every one are worthy of your time so go ahead and check them out.

Black 47- 'Rise Up' (2014)BLACK 47- ‘Rise Up: Political Songs (2014)

A sad year for New Yorks premier celtic-punk band as they finally called it a day after an amazing 25 years together. Influenced by reggae, hip hop and jazz as well as folk and punk I gotta admit I’m a late convert to Black 47 but better late than never. This is a compilation of the best of their political songs. Irish republicanism looms large with the standout tracks the emotional renditions of ‘James Connolly’, ‘The Patriot Game’ and  ‘Bobby Sands MP’. The real standout though is the fantastic ‘San Patricio Brigade’, with the band accompanied by Eileen Ivers, which tells of the Irish deserters from the US Army who fled racism and mistreatment to join the Mexican Army and formed the St Patrick’s Battalion back in 1846. More on that here.

WebSite  Facebook  Buy The Album

CELKILT- ‘On The Table’ (2014)

Imagine a catchy as hell pop punk band with fiddle, whistles and bag pipes and a very real foot in celtic history and you have Celkilt from Lyon in east-central France. Their fourth album came out to quite a fanfare and it really deserved it. Influenced from across the celtic nations Celkilt have taken the scene by storm since they arrived and with a continuously evolving and updating sound they need to be heard far and wide. Songs on this album represent all the celtic nations but is the Breton sounding title track that steals the show for me. The vocals are in crystal clear English and the production is immaculate!

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BIG ART PETERS- ‘Quit Horsing Around’ (2014)BIG ART PETERS- ‘Quit Horsing Around’ (2014)

An album of laid back country classics from Arturo Bassick, the singer and last remaining original member of 1977 punk rock legends The Lurkers backed by members of German psychobilly band Mad Sin. All great fun and will definitly remind you of those records your mammy loved back when you were a kid. Clearly influenced by Johnny Cash I half expected  Arturo to produce a spoof/jokey album but no its serious and shows the upmost respect. I can see yet another door opening for this already busy and very talented geezer.

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Cruachan- 'Blood For The Blood God' (2014)CRUACHAN- ‘Blood For The Blood God’ (2014)

Formed in Dublin back in 1992 Cruachan are one of the world’s top celtic/folk-metal bands. I must admit to a very limited knowledge of that suprisingly busy and popular scene and anything I know comes from this previous article here on the blog entitled ‘Celtic Metals Top Five Bands’. You would think not for the faint hearted but it is in fact very listenable and the folk influence is massive. This is the second instalment of a planned ‘Blood…’ trilogy and is their seventh album. The songs deal with stories from Irish mythology and chugging riffs compete with traditional Irish jigs to make a gloriously epic album.

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MY LIFE IN BLACK AND WHITE- ‘Columbia’ (2014)

Hailing from Portland, Oregon this is My Life In Black And White’s fourth album and their blend of Social Distortion style punk and folk has got them plenty of notice. Whiskey soaked singalongs and ballads sitting next to a rough punk sound with fast drum beats and distorted guitars where you can still hear the acoustic guitar strumming away in the fantastic mix. The best bands draw inspiration from past wars and cultural struggles and so do My Life In Black And White thus they bring a strong sense of folk tradition to the songs so that even on the punker songs a strong sense of the past shines through.

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DUCKING PUNCHES ‘Dance Before You Sleep’ (2014)

New band to me hailing from Norwich away there on the east coast of England and one of many where the band members are, or use to be, members of more conventional punk rock bands. Really nice folky punk with biting lyrics and a real threat in what they say that belies the ‘nice’ music. Great storytelling songs and catchy as feck music. Highly recommended and I look forward to seeing more of these this year. A brilliant scene developing in Norwich with bands taking in every angle of celtic/folk-punk. Watch out for the East Town Pirates too.

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Deiedra-DEIEDRA- ‘Usteak Ustal’ (2014)

There has always been great links between the celtic nations and the Basque people. Both share histories of oppression and the scars of colonialism. Some even say that the Irish and the Basques are the same linked through their DNA. Deiedra play immaculate Irish folk filtered through Basque ears and sung in their native language. Some of the tunes are familiar but all are stamped with Deiedra’s own style.

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HARD UP ‘Penury’ (2014)

Leftie folk-punk that reminds me of Mischief Brew or The Dead Maggies. From Montreal in Quebec they sing in English and even though it could have benefited from a better production but as ‘Penury’ was recorded in a loft Hard Up can be forgiven. A lovely bit of DIY folk-punk with great storytelling lyrics and banjo playing.

“folk is a music for the people by the people there’s no room for blind faith at all”

Only twenty minutes long but rattles along at a great old speed and keeps up the catchiness all the way through. Available for Pay What You Want so why not take a chance on them. You’ll not regret it.

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JOHNNY KOWALSKI AND THE SEXY WEIRDOS- ‘Kill The Beast’ (2014)

Second album from this Birmingham based band that combines elements of ska, celtic, balkan, punk, rock’n’roll, mariachi, carnival and a whole lot more that I havent yet realised into the tumbler and gives it a good shake before knocking it back. A rollicking good time to be had by these. Nothing too serious just a seriously great time…

“He gathers forth distrusting words
He reach a stream, he can’t cry out
After knowledge always doubt
When over the hill there comes a shout
The distant smoke, the smell of stout”

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LES FOSSOYEURS SEPTIK- ‘La Pelle du désordre’ (2014)

They come from France and even though I don’t speak French Les Fossoyeurs Septik sound very pissed off! All yer classic bits of folk-punk and folk and punk are complimented by some very good reggae touches that don’t sound out of place at all. Another band in Mischief brew territory but with none of the Americana of said band these are French and sound like it. Like I said have got no idea what their singing about except they support the Animal Liberation Front so unfortunatly they got a lot to be pissed off about so. Their are only the occasional celtic moments but don’t let that put you off definitley worth keeping an eye on.

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NOWHEREBOUND- ‘Mockingbirds’ (2014)

Formed in 2010 out of the ashes of local Austin, Texas punk bands Nowherebound’s third album is more punk than previous ones have been but the same touches that impressed me with My Life In Black And White’s album (see above) are also evident in heaps here. The acoustic guitars have been retired but the sound of Nowherebound hasn’t changed. Thank feck! From hard rock in-yer-face to pop punk melodies to raise-your-glass-and-sing-along-anthems Nowherebound hit you in the heart and head.

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THE POKES 'Mayday' (2014)THE POKES ‘Mayday’ (2014)

Last one and its The Pokes from Berlin and on first listen it was legendary North-Eastern England band The Whiskey Priests that it reminded me of. Celtic-punk without being particularly celtic it is nevertheless absolutely superb party music and looking at their videos they are something else live. Their fourth album and much the same great fiddle, banjo and accordion wrapped around clear vocals and often hilarious lyrics. Influences abound with everything from ska to polka sticking their nose in and combining to prove why The Pokes are one of the best and most popular bands in Germany.

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apologies to all the bands as each and every release deserved the full LONDON CELTIC PUNKS treatment but time has got the better of me. If anyone out there wants to help out on the reviews front drop us a line. Don’t be shy we are always looking for help.

EP REVIEW: MISCHIEF BREW- ‘O, Pennsyltucky!’ (2014)

we are not a Irish band

Mischief Brew- 'O, Pennsyltucky!' (2014)

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.

Mischief Brew

L to R: Denise Vertucci (tour manager), Chris Petersen (drums), Erik Petersen (voice, guitar), Ned Wells (actor in “O, Pennsyltucky!” video), Shawn St. Clair (bass)

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

Facebook  WebSite  MySpace  Twitter  YouTube

Buy The EP

iTunes  Bandcamp

Mischief Brew Record Company

Fistolo Records

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