Underrated ’80s NJ hardcore band TMA treated to full discography reissue
If you're not familiar with TMA, you're probably not alone, but the short-lived NJ band released some true underrated gems of '80s hardcore, and those gems have just been compiled for the 42-song super deluxe reissue of their two-full lengths (1984's What's For Dinner? and 1987's Beach Party 2000), which also includes their long-shelved Just Desserts EP. The reissue is out now on Left For Dead Records, whose Jim Reynolds told us about how he stumbled upon TMA and came to reissue their discography:
Back in the '80s, the New Jersey punk scene was always overshadowed by the New York and SoCal scenes. These bands never got their fair credit and now people can take the time to go back and re-discover some incredible material from that time. I discovered the TMA recordings as I was looking to do release a New Jersey punk compilation called Armpit of America. When I heard TMA it just hit me in the face and I scrapped the idea of the compilation and decided to release TMA instead. Funny enough, the person who put me in touch with the band was Laura Albert aka famed literary persona JT LeRoy. And with the passing of lead singer Mike Demko earlier this year, the release now serves as a memorial to him and the band.
For an idea of what people said at the time, Tim Yohannon wrote the following for Maximumrocknroll in 1984:
Who are these guys? Well, whoever they are, they really shred. TMA play totally fast, gnarly thrash with lots of hooks ‘n’ tunes. Tight and clean, too. The lyrics are typical ‘punk rock’, bitchin’ ‘n’ moanin’ ‘bout everythin’.
A writeup in CMJ of Beach Party 2000 said "Careful - this album will tear your head off!" That same writeup also compared them to Husker Du, who released a punk cover of the Mary Tyler Moore Show theme "Love Is All Around" as the B-side to "Makes No Sense At All" a year after TMA released theirs on What's For Dinner?.
Matt Pinfield is also a longtime fan, and he said:
I have nothing but amazing memories from my days in the early ’80s with TMA. I loved playing them on my radio show at the Rutgers University radio station, WRSU. Their songs are great and show off their sense of humor about everything from politics to everyday nonsense.
They were my friends. We did some really crazy shit together and always had a blast. I would carry their equipment into their shows and they would carry my records in when I DJ’ed in those clubs. Their shows were complete chaos. I saw young punks wiping out on floors full of spilt beer while moshing to their madness... and much more. They were both fun and dangerous, but never took themselves too seriously.
The Jersey hardcore scene never got the respect or exposure it deserved, and especially TMA. I’m reallly happy to see this reissue. TMA is a band that deserves to be known!
Stream the full reissue below...