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.
"What's For Dinner?"
"Brain Of My Own"
"You Crack Me Up"
(these files are now listen-only)