This Is Serious Mum's first radio-friendly single, despite the obscure packaging, was received well.The début album, Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance (1988), is a double vinyl release in an embossed gatefold sleeve.In 1996 TISM toured on the Big Day Out, during which Ron Hitler-Barassi was either absent or wheelchair-bound due to a detached retina and broken arm caused by a stage dive he performed at the Pacific Hotel, Lorne, Victoria prior to the tour.
TISM's biggest success was the 1995 album Machiavelli and the Four Seasons.
The titles of their songs were often wordplays created by juxtaposing pop culture references with more intellectual ones (for example, "Would the Last Person to Leave Please Turn Out the Enlightenment?
", "Jung Talent Time" and the album Machiavelli and the Four Seasons). Flaubert" – drums and lead vocals), Jack Holt ("Jock Cheese" – guitar, bass and backing vocals) and Eugene Cester ("Eugene de la Hot Croix Bun" – keyboards and backing vocals), recorded a nine-song session called Great Truckin' Songs of the Renaissance under the name This Is Serious Mum at the home of friend Peter Minack ("Ron Hitler-Barassi").
TISM, with producer Tony Cohen, then released the EP Beasts of Suburban (1992).
A new guitarist, 'Tony Coitus' (later 'Tokin' Blackman') joined the group onstage for the first time on 23 January 1992.