Jam Toast - Silly Grown Ups, Punk is for Kids
Record Label: None
Release Date: September 2007
We have bluegrass fiddle player Charlie Daniels who introduces kids to country music, Rafi who introduces them to folk music, and now Jam Toast who takes old school punk and makes it G-rated. Michael McKinnon (aka Jam Toast) makes an indelible impression on his latest release Silly Grown Ups, Punk is for Kids with music that projects an image of Nickelodeon’s Jimmy Neutron playing the Ramones' style of punk rock. The songs are kid-friendly while adhering to old school punk idioms.
Tracks like “Monday Pants,” “Jump Around,” and “Make Some Noise” have pogoing movements reminiscent of Rancid but tailored with vocals that sound like the cast of Nick Jr.’s The Backyardigans. These are songs that will make you want to jump up and down on your bed. Though the vocal melodies groove on a kids' level relatable to characters like Sponge Bob Square Pants, the Wonder Pets, and Big Bird, the music has rollicking old school punk scores and vocal hollers relatable to The Clash and the Ramones. Toy rattles sprinkle across the ska punk channels of “Jam Toast Theme,” while the punk rock grooves of “Opposites” have catchy melodic hooks for kids to dance to. The album maintains an old school punk rock status throughout its length.
The lyrics are designed to relate to kids as well, like finding pleasure in the little things that life offers in “My Sandbox Rocks.” This is evident when McKinnon sings, “The only thing that makes me feel all right / Is playing day and night in my construction site / I need a couple of trucks and a pile of dirt / A shovel and pail and I can get to work / I’ve got sand in my hair / I’ve got sand in my socks / But I don’t care cuz my sandbox rocks / No, I don’t care because my sandbox rocks.”
Jam Toast’s album is great for kids and parents. Like Charlie Daniels and Rafi, Michael McKinnon introduces kids to music, only McKinnon’s songs are based on a variety of old school punk scores that come from the collective consciousness of the masses.