Screech! (Reissue)

Vinyl LP

"… Once upon a time, long ago, before you woke up …"

"Between late 1991 and late 1994 this iconoclastic trio (Richard Calder, James Robinson, Peter Wright) subverted pop music mores with a good dose of cheek, wit and originality. Much more than a punk band with a drum machine, TMA-1’s embracing of technology, accident and the home recording ethos led to the creation of an enthralling body of sonic mayhem – some of this recognizably rock music, and some of it simply indescribable. Most of this material was self-released on the group’s own pseudo-label: kRkRkRk Cassettes – the vehicle by which their home recordings and those of a steadily growing community of like-minded freaks, friends and confederates could be disseminated in a calculated parody of the workings of the real music industry. The kRkRkRk catalogue would eventually number in excess of one hundred separate releases."

"Screech! materialized over the summer of 1993-94, during the period Peter and James were flatting together at 44 Ely St in central Christchurch. Showcasing Peter’s growing mastery of the cassette 4-track, home recording medium, Screech! was the most cohesive release by the band to date. Lo-fi digital samples, tapes and sample-triggered drum machine sounds were skillfully woven together to create tight and compelling punk-industrial rock songs and semi-improvised noise-scapes possessing a presence and impact never before achieved by the group. The samples themselves were mainly limited to a single source – John Boorman’s 1974 cult science fiction classic: Zardoz – a tactic that further enhanced Screech!’s coherence and internal unity."

"There’s no filler here, but especially memorable tracks include the priceless punk-industrial opener Spermicide (‘the gun is good, the penis is evil!’) and the techno intense Touch (Palpate) (on which some of Peter’s vocals sound as though they are being sucked backwards into a microphone). James shines on the cowpunk Ride The Range (the album’s irresistibly catchy student radio pick, with its delightfully cheesy synth bass and lines like ‘John Wayne knew your mother!’), his ode to romantic paranoia, Watching You, and the despairing industrial grind of Yo ? Pardon. There’s even room for a few guest spots: TMA-1’s friend and live sound tech Sarah Nicol screams down a telephone near the start of the churning, clattering noise epic Junkyard whilst, later in the track, yours truly gasps some nonsense about ‘breathing dead air’. But James’s defiant addendum to Gloat gets my vote for the best quote: ‘we really do use a tin can and a piece of fucking string you know...’"

David Khan, July 2017


1. Spermicide 03:50
2. Touch (Palpate) 06:59
3. Bugbeast 01:08
4. Yo ? Pardon 04:47
5. Ruptured 01:12
6. Detritus II 04:00
7. Gloat 00:44
8. Squeal 00:19
9. Ride The Range 08:38
10. Death Skrew 05:24
11. Watching You 01:50
12. Junkyard 07:42