TMA What’s For Dinner? / Beach Party 2000 / Just Desserts Super Deluxe Edition 2xLP+7″ reissue

“Who are these guys?” That’s not me talking, but our beloved creator Tim Yo in his 1984 review, and I wholeheartedly agree. Maybe the best 1980s New Jersey hardcore band you’ve never heard of? I’ve been really nose diving into the toxic cesspool of Jersey punk recently, reading the No Slam Dancing No Stage Diving No Spikes book as well as the excellent Hard Times zine anthology but still there’s nary a mention of these goombahs anywhere. TMA stands for Tom Mike Al, the names of the original trio that expanded with a singer and later returned to form on their second platter. Too Many Assholes is the other name chosen, which is just as Jersey as the hilarious photos of these guys. New Jersey always seemed to be the Orange County of the East without the credit, providing solid melodic hardcore with RAMONES sensibilities. The Just Desserts EP and What’s for Dinner? LP are definitely my faves here, with a harder sound almost like a less offensive CHRONIC SICK with the humor and speed of ADRENALIN OD. They cover the Mary Tyler Moore theme; legend has them opening for HÜSKER DÜ, who mysteriously adopted the tune at a later date. “Beach Party 2000″ has the band maturing(?) and honing their songwriting into an almost BAD RELIGION or SOCIAL DISTORTION polished melodic-ness but still being able to slam it out on songs like “Slack.” If Epitaph Records had been in New Jersey, you punkers might be wearing their backpatches right now, but sadly with no fame or credit, TMA faded into the Jersey wasteland. Luckily we now have this lavish reissue all packaged in a spiffy slipcase on colored vinyl with extra inserts and new Charles Burns-like comic artwork. Truly a labor of love and with it being limited to 100 copies, you better jump on it, chump.

TMA Beach Party 2000 LP

An energetic and well-produced follow-up to 1985’s What’s for Dinner? On this record, the band moves away from the rough-edged wackiness that led to comparisons with the ANGRY SAMOANS in favor of a more streamlined, slicker sound. Traces of surf, sixties, and metal are combined into a powerful guitar sound, but I miss the irreverence and originality of the first LP. Still, this is a strong release.

TMA What’s For Dinner LP

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’.