‘The Stone Operation’ is the third full-length album from Philadelphia outfit Mischief Brew, whose past efforts ‘Smash the Windows’ and ‘Songs From Under the Sink’ showcased the band’s wide range of influences. Fans of the band have also come to love the storytelling song writing of vocalist/guitarist Erik Petersen, which ‘The Stone Operation’ features in abundance.
Album opener ‘Lawless World’ begins with the familiar sound of Petersen’s acoustic guitar and raspy vocals, but by the time the chorus comes around, it’s a raucous mix of distorted guitars and crashing drums. This is one of the most noticeable differences between ‘The Stone Operation’ and Mischief Brew’s other albums – the songs definitely lean more towards the ‘punk’ side of folk-punk, most notably on ‘Lucky No.31’ and ‘On the Sly’. However, the quieter side of the band is still present, with ‘Nevada City Serenade’ showing echoes of earlier songs like ‘Nomads Revolt’.
While ‘Songs from Under the Sink’ often sounds like a collection of songs written around a campfire, ‘The Stone Operation’ is an altogether more angry-sounding effort. Lyrically, the album retains Mischief Brew’s anarchic edge, with Petersen proclaiming ‘I ain’t gonna listen to no-one/so scream until you’re blue’ during the toe-tappingly infectious ‘Pompous-Ass Manifesto’.
‘The Stone Operation’ is the sound of a band experimenting with some slightly different sounds but still staying true to their roots, and is a more than worthy addition to Mischief Brew’s already impressive catalogue.