Melbourne outfit This Is Serious Mum (or, as you know and love them, TISM) existed in various guises between 1982 and 2004. Despite a few peripheral line-up changes,they kept a consistent creative core for their six albums and numerous EPs, compilations and live videos.
TISM began as nobodies, building a cult following in their hometown, which blossomed into a fervent national following as they hit their commercial zenith in the mid ‘90s. They took home an ARIA in 1995 for Best Independent Release and rode a wave of popularity for a few years before gradually receding back into the margins of popular culture.
It’s basically the typical career arc of any semi-successful Australian band of that era.
Except TISM weren’t typical or your average semi-successful Australian band. They were a highly intelligent group of music lovers united by a shared love of pushing boundaries and buttons. Almost every creative decision they made involved some form of subversion or avant-garde pretention.
Their entire career played out as a two-decade-long artistic exercise in nullifying convention (and presumably making each other laugh) soundtracked by some damn fine pop music.