The Mailman’s Children’s “The Spiders We Eat” marks the bands fourth release since forming in 2000. Containing only 5 tracks (2 of which are an electric and an acoustic version of the same track – “Ride in Your Mind) I was curious if these limited-track albums were perhaps the band’s “thing” and discovered that their first and third albums contained five and six tracks respectively. Their second album release, “Stranger Things” debuted in 2002 and contained eleven tracks and I’m assuming by the remixed, remastered and rereleased version of the same album in 2013 that perhaps this is a favored CD among their fans and consideration should have been taken regarding sticking with this format for future releases. Such was not the case though with “The Spiders We Eat” which taking into consideration “Ride Your Mind” is on the album twice, really only contains four songs.
I’m not sure how many artists I love that much that in a 15 year span I would be vested and devoted to them over a career total of 27 songs. While this isn’t always the case, in many instances music releases are much like TV seasons: too much time between new material is a bad thing and audiences have a tendency to forget about that show or that artist in the interim.
Let’s overlook these specifics and focus in on the music. Stylistically, The Mailman’s Children reminded me of Radiohead. A lot. If you’re a Radiohead fan, or one of that style and genre, then The Mailman’s Children would be a good choice for you. They’re (fittingly) labeled as indie rock (and unfittingly also as alternative rock) and this is prevalent through the album. In researching the band, I found comparisons to The Smiths and The Replacements as well and while I personally didn’t sense these influences, I can appreciate why the comparisons were made: they’re reminiscent of the melodic 80s indie rock sound most of us are familiar with.
If this is your thing, great! You’ll enjoy The Mailman’s Children’s sound, even if there’s only 4 new tracks since 2013 and only seventeen since 2002. As for me, I give the album a 4 star rating out of 10 and think that when releasing new music to an obviously established fan base given their longevity as a band – they should very much consider a fuller and more stylistically ranged track list.