Mail Order Children – Thinking of Raising a Family 7”
Asian Man Records, 1998
Acquired: Asian Man Records Mail Order, New, 2002
While I generally have a certain affection for late 90s ska-punk, Mail Order Children make me feel like I’m on a Tilt-a-Whirl on the verge of vomiting. It’s too fast! This is often a rally cry for certain bands. The whole “We play so fast you can’t keep up with us!” vibe. I guess it works in hardcore punk, where everything gets washed out by power chords and distortion. Here, the music is going 45 RPM and the vocals are going 33. It’s unsettling, and I feel like the grandpa yelling at the teenagers walking on his lawn. Even though I find this whole affair very exhausting, I totally understand how important this stuff was to so many teenagers in the late 90s. The first show I ever went to was an all ages ska show when I was 16. I learned to skank, I had a fucking awesome time, and though this music doesn’t hold up it doesn’t really matter because it was never meant to hold up (you could argue that trumpets and quickly upstroked guitars are the cheesy sax solo of the 90s). Kudos for the horn players for being able to play their instruments blisteringly fast. Another musical trend from the late 90s ska/punk scene that tends to get overlooked is the focus on gross-out humor. Though these songs are fairly tame, the credits feature such jobs as “Bass Rapin’ & Heartbreakin’,” “Trumpetin’ & Bumpinin’,” “Alto Saxin’ & Crotch Waxin’,” “Tenor Tweakin’ & Deep Throatin’,” and “Baritonin’ & Goat Blowin’.” While Though these hopelessly juvenile antics have mostly gone the way of the buffalo (Juggalos excluded), I gotta say, reading the words “Goat Blowin’” warmed the cockles of my heart just a little bit.
Here is an example from an anthology, as the tracks on this 7" are nonexistent in Internet form: