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March 20, 2023

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Asian Man Records Presents...
Mailorder is FUN! (Asian Man Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Truly loving mailorder and being able to serve his fans, Mike Park decided to put out a compilation to showcase everything on his label, a few extra bands he thought the public needed to hear, and bonus tracks by Less Than Jake's Fueled By Ramen Records' bands. Twenty-nine tracks in all, this CD has bands covering the punk genre, ska, an indie rock band, as well as some emo bands. That's right, any fan of music will find something he/she likes on this CD.

Starting out with the now-defunct ska-punk band Slapstick, and their contribution "There's A Metalhead In The Parking Lot," this CD shapes itself from the beginning. A nice upbeat right from the beginning, soon the drums help push them into a punk phase. Then a nice hook is thrown your way, and they then cut to just bass, vocals, and drums before jumping back into some punk. They then hit the chorus which has some ska and horns that help drive the song. Jumping between punk and ska, they help get you in one mind set before quickly shoving you into another. Link 80's "Slap" is a blast through the land of hardcore. Surely powerful enough to knock you on your behind, this number will get your blood pumping and your body craving something hard and fast. The Broadways' "15 Minutes" is just the track that will give you some more fast punk beats with a strong political message. Melodic, yet rough, this number will get you thinking, bouncing off walls, and thinking once more. Korea Girl's "Reunion" is a nice surprise on this CD. Being a big indie rock and pop fan, I found this song very refreshing and enjoying amongst a lot of punk and ska. A heavily distorted guitar, soft drums, and heavy bass all over a very soft and melodic canvas, this song will get your attention and keep you listening throughout the entire song. I think it would be nice to hear a full-length from this lady. The Chinkees' "Hana" jumps you into a bouncy ska number. Heavily drenched in pop, you can bop and jump around, or you can feed off the powerful upbeat and start dancing. Either way, this number will get you moving and you'll never look back. The first time you might not even pay attention, you'll be too busy moving to the song, but is has a great theme throughout. With strong lyrics like "See someone shoot a man, don't want to be involved? Why don't you watch and leave," you can't help but feel bad about the horrible society we live in. But you never get brought down, because the music is too fun and enjoyable to even want to be troubled with thoughts of our society, so it comes out as a nice contrast for the listener. The Bruce Lee Band's "Gerry Is Strong" blends punk and ska into a nice mix that will get you dancing during moments, and get you jumping up and down during others. Strong horn lines help emphasize the ska side of the song, while the punk side is more dominant with the heavily distorted guitar. Going back to the first Asian Man release, Pezcore, Less Than Jake's "Liquor Store" seems a bit nostalgic at first, but once you listen to it you'll once again be swept up by its blend of punk and ska. Heavily danceable, they'll take control of your mind and body with ease. An "oldie" but a goodie!

Now on to the Fueled By Ramen side of this disc. Once again starting off with a defunct band, The Impossibles' "Plan B" starts FBR's nine tracks on this CD. Mixing Weezer-esqe pop with some punk and lots of ska, this number will get you dancing before hitting you with a tremendous pop hook. Leaving you with a dazed look on your face, the new pop-punk format will get you jumping up and down. The Supaflies' "Hot Rod '75" starts off with some punk before stopping and announcing, "That's not the right one. Don't worry." Then they once again burst into some more punk, before sliding into some distorted upbeat that is done strong enough to get you dancing. From there they switch between punk beats and a heavily distorted upbeat. Funsize's "Pickle" is straight on attack of punk rock. Done nicely, this will please any fan of punk rock. Ending with Ann Beretta's "Efforts Wasted," another attack of punk rock is served up for the fans of punk.

With a suggested retail price of $3.99 you have no reason not to get this CD. Many bands, many songs, you'll find something you'll enjoy on here. Pick up a copy today. I'll give this CD an A-.

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