Saturday, May 17, 2008

Doctor Says There's Something Wrong




Even though it's a record that relatively few people paid attention to when it was released, much less now, I think TMA's "What's For Dinner?" oughta rank among the best mid-period hardcore records to ever come out of New Jersey-- and if you don't believe me, check out "Psychopathic" and see if you're not convinced within the first 40 seconds. Okay, so "Psychopathic" sounds a lot like "Lights Out" by the Angry Samoans, but "Lights Out" is a great friggin song anyway, so maybe it deserves to be written twice. On top of that, TMA's "Astrological Geek" (which I didn't bother ripping) is similar to Black Flag's "Damaged II", but to me that just shows that TMA had great influences, that's all.

What TMA stands for is sort of a mystery, I guess; what's also a bit of a mystery is what TMA did to deserve an expertly-recorded, top-notch release like this one (though I'm sure they got ripped off for it), especially since almost none of my NY/NJ friends even knew who TMA were before this record came out, and it seemed like nobody had seen them play live. I realize that Jimboco Records isn't a major label, but it isn't a homemade label like Buy Our Records or Headache, either. There's "all rights reserved" and "used by permission" clauses slapped all over this thing, so you know there had to be a whole bunch of lawyers and accountants pulling the strings somewhere.

I'm pretty sure I reviewed this record in the first issue of Run It, and eventually Flipside and Ink Disease reviewed it, too. At the time it seemed like A.O.D. was the only band from the Northeast that the Flipside types could stand to like, but both Flipside and Ink Disease gave this a rave review, each saying something similar like, "How do we get to check these guys out live to see if they can live up to this record?" Which was the whole odd thing about this; like I said, nobody had seen these guys live, or even knew who the fuck they were... though I'm guessing by looking at the photos here that if you lived in New Jersey and bought gas at some point, or had your groceries bagged or a pizza delivered, there was a good chance you were standing right next to one of the guys from TMA and you probably wouldn't even have know it.

Not being a big Clash fan, this record has one of my favorite anti-Clash swipes ever (right up there next to Government Issue's "Used to listen to the Clash/Now they suck like all the trash") in "You Crack Me Up". Nowadays you've got hardcore kids wearing Clash and Smiths and Joy Division t-shirts and thinking all that stuff's great, but to the hardcore scene back then that shit was the enemy, and rightly fuckin' so. There ain't no goddamn Smiths covers on any F.U.'s records, I can tell you that much.




TMA -

"What's For Dinner?"

"Psychopathic"

"Brain Of My Own"

"Nancy"

"Electric Shock"

"You Crack Me Up"

(these files are now listen-only)














36 comments:

spavid said...

In reference to the title, more than just meatloaf! Really good disk that needs to be reissued.

bolt said...

This fucken SMOKES!

Same label as the Nasty Facts if I recall.

Brushback said...

Other similarities:

"Brain Of My Own" = "I Don't Care" (Circle Jerks)

"What's For Dinner" = "Mom's Wallet" (Zero Boys)

Anonymous said...

TMA stands for Tom Mike and Al.I worked with Mike Demko in a screen print shop in the mid 80's..saw them play the Court Tavern in New Brunswick NJ they were really good. The 2nd album Beach Party 2000 is pretty kick ass also.

Brushback said...

Funny how there's four guys in the band, but the band is only named after three of them.

The singing on this record is great, by the way-- almost perfect "punk" vocals. I'm guessing that the singer joined the band late, that's why he didn't merit an initial.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha I thought only me & one other friend ever even knew who this band was! I have two copies of this, one on white vinyl.

Listened to this constantly.

Brushback said...

Wow, I don't think I knew about the white vinyl version.

Brushback said...

Ummmm, the mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files. For those of you who missed the boat, I will do my best to respond to any e-mailed requests for the original files-- though only maybe two or three of them, since it's a bit of a chore.

Brushback said...

Oh, by the way, to Bolt (a few comments up)-- nice to see someone else who knows the proper way to spell "FUCKEN"!!

Anonymous said...

First of all yes, we did "borrow" from Angry Samoans,Black Flag, Circle Jerks,Ramones,Vibrators and many more.
We were based out of New Brunswick,NJ. Our little clique was with local bands Send Help, Detention.
Some of our bigger gigs were with the Circle Jerks, AntiNowhere League, the FU's. Regards Tom the T in TMA. PS, yes Dave joined a little after the band was formed.

Brushback said...

I had the Send Help demo, it was pretty good ("you don't fit!"). I found out later that they put out a 7", which I didn't know.

Davofl said...

I Have some reissue TMA,What's for Dinner CD's available if you would like to get one.... Full Artwork...

Davofl said...

Yes, and guess who did the photo shot for this Album? the same person who did the First Clash album..... Kate simon...Later Married David Johansen from the N.Y. Dolls.....

Davofl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Davofl said...

Brushback, the song what's for Dinner was totally original! not taken' from any other bands music Nor words... No (Zero Boy'Z)Here.I Co-Wrote that song with Tom the Bass player.... let's say We cut some teeth and Laughed our Asse's off..with Tom on that one! with all The Great late Night joint's we crashed After being Drunk ,Of course....Their was the famous "GREESEY TONY'S! on( EASTON AVE,IN OLD HISTORIC NEW BRUNSWICK,N.J.) My favorate, the Famous "TRASH CAN STEAK" Also the famous "WHITE CASTLES" They Had the TASTEST RAT BURGERS......this is What TMA Was Built On...fun and nothing but...

Brushback said...

Hey-- I just had White Castles (in New Jersey, no less) yesterday!

Davofl said...

Hey, Thanks for your response! I'd like some White castles right now. I guess I would have to settle for some frozen one's....Since I'm down here in south west Florida... The doctor Sez I can't eat that shit anymore.... Ha...

Brushback said...

The frozen White Castles aren't much different from the real ones, if you nuke 'em right (and don't mind not having the pickle)...

I was in south-east Florida earlier this year (Ft. Lauderdale). Awful place.

Davofl said...

Brushback, Ft.Lauderdale Does Suck! to many people their.I'm on the other coast... Very different Here then their. Also there was a fourth issue of What's for Dinner on a cassette ? what a Joke it should have Been on CD Format.. it came with a Graveyard scene,which was really cool! Complaments of Mike Demko, the Guitar player,who did the art on that..... and Also Bonus trax Metuchen Punks*(One of my Favorites) & I'm Tired* I have These available with full art work.. Graveyard scene & The green Dinner plate.....Let me know....

Brushback said...

Wait, are you saying I can replace my old beat-up copy of "What's For Dinner" with a newer version includinng bonus tracks? Count me in!

Davofl said...

Yes, That's what I'm saying.... I will send you the Graveyard scene with bonus tracks... for 12.00 total shipping inclued.. Payment through paypal make it For Goods... Full art work! Yel,Love it.... contact me direct...Davofl@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm the Anonymous who has two copies on vinyl. I thought Davofl might get a kick out of the fact that way back in '93 I referenced TMA in a song I wrote about forgetting stuff. "TMA said it nine years ago, nine years ago this year, and I think I remember how it goes, "I forgot" and after that it's not so clear".

Hope your enjoying your slider free FL existence!! Thanks for making my teen years more bearable.

EC Gladstone said...

I saw TMA live as many times as I could in the late '80s, and they never failed. Then I got to write the P.R. for their second LP Beach Party 2000. "What if Annette Funicello was kidnapped by a gang of mutant scuba divers?" Good times.

Davofl said...

Thanks for the post! TMA Guy's do Appreciate evryone's comments....

Cliff said...

TMA Rocks,I'm in Love With Nancy Reagan,come on that was a fricken classic.Ok Dave i wanna get a cd reissue from ya,and all TMA should be reissued and properly exploited,hehe.

Davofl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Davofl said...

Yeah,Cliff TMA is in Exile do to being thrown out of the country for writting song's Of the ex-dead presidents wife.... you will get your Cd ,but it May take a month or So to get to ya... LOL...

Jason Rerun said...

The "What's For Dinner?" LP has been a long time favorite of mine since I first heard it in the mid '80s. A friend gave me a tape with a few of the songs, and it took me another year of scouring WI record shops to secure a copy for myself. Over the years, I’ve picked up every used copy I’ve come across, just to give to friends who aren’t in the know. Well, I did save a white vinyl, 2nd press for myself. Two copies in my collection is hardly too much!

I always thought TMA and the Detention LP had just the right dose of humor mixed in with their Punk-Core. Although I like a lot of the Mutha bands, AOD, etc…The TMA riffs are catchy enough to stick in your heads for days, unlike a lot of other NJ bands from the time. “Nancy”, “You Crack Me Up”, “Brain of My Own” and “Dying The Empire Way” have been mix tape staples for as long as I can remember. “You Crack Me Up” has been also an annual Halloween favorite for years on the radio show I do in St. Louis. Love the Clash slam in this one, as well.

Bottom line…not only a New Jersey classic, but a bonafide ‘80s HC classic!

Cliff said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0XKHx0Ckh0


Dave you got any TMA video footage? If so please get that on DVD.

Davofl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Davofl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Davofl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I also thought I was the only guy who knew of this band (besides the others I introduced them to). Hands down one of the best punk albums most never heard. I always loved "crack me up". Perfect song about the posers back then. I have the album and would love to get the CD. Is it the same singer on Beach Party 2000? Sounds higher pitched and the production has an echo so it's hard to tell.

Davofl said...

Nope, Tom & Mike Just do the Vocals on the Second Album... The Drummer & I Left the Band after the First Album "WHAT'S FOR DINNER"

sambson said...

Man! Back in the day me & my friend Jimi 45 were the only two Punks in Fayettnam, NC and we always hit Paradise Recs, Peaches, and Record Bar together so we could co-ordinate our collections. So, I'd buy Dead Kennedys "Too Drunk Too Fuck" and he'd get TMA "Waht's For Dinner". Then we'd dub 'em onto cassette and double the size of our collections. Eventually we figured out we should be mailordering from SST and Alt Tentacles and calling Al Flipside himself to ask catalog questions. My mom shit when she opened a package and saw the first Blasting Concept cover art! Anyways, I always wished I had gotten the TMA, cause this album KILLS! I had to dub "Nancy" and "Crack Me Up" onto the old 'cart' format when I DJ'd a Hardcore show in college, cuz there was no way I wasn't gonna play 'em. I didn't plan on writing all of this, but I just had to share with a group of guys who know what the hell I'm talking about! thanx - Sam Slam

Davofl said...

Sambson, love That post ! If you want a remaster TMA, What's for Dinner ? I Have'em... CD-R's with Full art work... contact Me On FB... David Oldfield...