GUIGNOL and MISCHIEF BREW: Fight Dirty: CD

To call this a split would be misleading. It’s more of a collaboration, I would say. Folk punk collective Mischief Brew’s only constant member is band leader Erik Petersen, and in this case he joins up with Guignol, who I guess could best be described as a muso-world-punk ensemble. I was excited to hear this album since Guignol contains a couple of key past and present members of the World/Inferno Friendship Society: Peter Hess and Franz Nicolay. Also, the Mischief Brew split with Joe Jack Talcum is pretty great. This album could probably be called a klezmer-folk-gypsy-jazz-punk extravaganza without too much of a stretch (it has a completely reworked Iron Maiden cover to boot, so I guess I could throw metal into the mix, too). I know I am making this album sound like a sloppy mess, but it’s really the exact opposite. The musicianship is tight and it’s a fun listen. Only about five of the sixteen songs feature vocals (mostly by Erik Petersen, which I guess makes them slightly more on the Mischief Brew side), but the instrumentals are really great, too. They sound exciting and intriguing, like what I always hope world-fusion music will sound like, not the watered down soundtrack for a Volvo drive that most of it ends up being. A few of my favorites are the creepy, lurching, circus instrumental “The Tardy Barker,” vagabond-ish life lesson “Fight Dirty,” and the unrecognizable but awesome instrumental Iron Maiden cover “Hallowed Be Thy Name.” This is definitely one of my favorites from the last couple months.

 –Adrian (Fistolo)