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We wrote the bass and drum parts to "Shut Us Down" throughout the summer of 1996, with the idea that the lyrics would be an epic summary of everything that we thought we were about: less talking, less fashion, more action? A noble effort for a band that wrote two songs against their gym teacher. As summer came to a close, we went in to record a bunch of songs at Creep. I wrote what I thought were great lyrics, but was probably too reliant on a thesaurus (the use of words like "ambulators" and "codified" probably shows that I was listening to too much Bad Religion). We never practiced it together... Tom wrote the guitar parts and laid them down later. I sang the song one time only, and that was this take. It had both a spontaneous and awkward cadence. We rough-mixed it and I decided that I hated it and wanted to re-do the vocals with different words, but we never got around to it. Backing vocals were never added. It just remained unfinished on a 1" Ampex reel, until I stumbled upon the rough mix in late 2015.

I decided that I wanted to at least transfer it and mix it, just to preserve it. I could have actually done away with this vocal take, written new words once and for all and redone it, but that seemed like cheating. Another idea was to leave it instrumental, or create a sound collage over the music. At the end of the day, we were fair to the rules of the time capsule and just mixed what we had. I've decided to live with the vocals, although I wish I had taken more time with them, as the music is actually pretty good. What I think is AWESOME is Tom's guitar work on this one. He really thought outside the box and came up with some wild stuff with three different overdubs all doing different things, yet working together with the wah and harmonics. Not bad for a 16-year old... well, at the time.

"Shut Us Down" might be a misfire but it was a admirable attempt by a bunch of misfit teenagers to prove that we were capable of writing more than just snotty one-minute ragers with three chords. Recorded August 1996 at Creep Records by Arik Victor and Mike Bardzik. Mixed 2016 at Permanent Hearing Damage by Steve Roche and Erik Petersen.


from Lost Songs: 1994​-​1997, released April 19, 2016


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Mischief Brew Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Emerging from the undead ashes of PA punk troupe The Orphans, Mischief Brew started with a scratchy demo tape in 2000 and has since spread the good word of anarchy, hilarity, and rebellion across state lines and even the Atlantic Ocean a few times. We've managed to exist for over 13 years in one form or another by kissing nobody's ass and doing everything ourselves, for the most part. No rules! ... more

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