In the mid to late ‘70s, The Suicide Commandos were leaders of the Twin Cities punk rock scene. In their brief time together, they released two records: 1978’s “Make A Record” released on Blank/Mercury records and 1979’s “The Suicide Commandos Commit Suicide Dance Concert.” The latter being a live recording which happened to be the bands final performance together before disbanding.
Despite not having a larger catalog for listeners, they became one of the most influential bands to come out of the Twin cities and helped pave the way for the local rock scene of the ‘80s with The Replacements, Husker Du, The Suburbs and Soul Asylum.
Fast forward 39 years, and Chris Osgood, Steve Almaas, and Dave Ahl are back to force legendary Minneapolis record label Twin/Tone Records back into existence and release a brand new album with them titled “Time Bomb.”
The album itself isn’t the same balls to the wall punk rock you would have heard from the band in their earlier days. Now it’s a good mix of punk rock and classic rock n roll, almost as if The Ramones collaborated on an album with Nick Lowe or Eddie Cochran. However, lyrically the “Time Bomb” still has the same sense of humor seen on “Make A Record” easily noticed in “If I Can’t Make You Love Me,” “Boogie’s Coldest Acre” and “Milk Of Human Kindness.”
Fast forward 39 years, and Chris Osgood, Steve Almaas, and Dave Ahl are back to force legendary Minneapolis record label Twin/Tone Records back into existence and release a brand new album with them titled “Time Bomb.”Despite not having a larger catalog for listeners, they became one of the most influential bands to come out of the Twin cities and helped pave the way for the local rock scene of the ‘80s with The Replacements, Husker Du, The Suburbs and Soul Asylum.
That’s not to say the album is full of silly punk rock tunes. There’s plenty of well-written, single worthy songs spread across the album to make it rewarding for anyone to listen to with the album’s opening tracks, including “Hallelujah Boys,” “For Such a Mean Time” and the closing track “Late Lost Stolen Mangled Misdirected,” to name a few of my personal favorites.
“Time Bomb” isn’t a perfect record by any means, but I have enjoyed hearing what the trio has come up with this time around, and I would certainly recommend giving it a spin to anyone who grew up listening to “Make A Record” or would just be discovering the group for the first time.
So why, you might ask, did the band decide that now was the time to put out a new record? Certainly after one of several reunion shows played over the years, the band could have put out something new for fans who had been waiting for new music, right?
The answer: A man by the name of Tommy Erdeli, better known as Tommy Ramone (you know, drummer for influential punk rock band The Ramones).
After Tommy had passed away, Steve Almaas pointed out to his band mates that all of The Ramones were now gone but the three of them were still around and it was finally time they should record another album together.
Fortunately, with technology being where it is now, it was much easier for each member to take the song ideas they’d put together on their own and piece the album together. With Almaas now living in New York City, and Ahl and Osgood both still in the Twin Cities, the ability to work long distance on a project together was much easier than it would have been in the past.
But with members living across the country, live performances will still be hard to come by. Still, in a press release announcing the new record, they said, “Touring will be strategic . . .” and that they’ll have several shows, both local and national, in the works. So here’s to hoping we’ll get to see them in Minneapolis a few more times this year.
“Time Bomb” was released May 5, 2017 on Twin/Tone Records (who have returned to put out great music after a 23 year absence) with album release festivities, including an album listening party taking place in The Clown Lounge at the Turf Club in St. Paul and a live acoustic performance at Tree House Records in Minneapolis.
The first vinyl pressing will be a limited/numbered edition of 1,000 copies but CDs and Digital Downloads will also available.
- Hallelujah Boys
- Milk of Human Kindness
- Boogie’s Coldest Acre
- Try Again
- Pool Palace Cigar
- When I Do It, It’s O.K.
- If I Can’t Make You Love Me
- Ghost Burrito
- For Such A Mean Time
- Cocktail Shaker
- The Wrong Time
- Late Lost Stolen Mangled Misdirected
Recommended listening: “Late Lost Stolen Mangled Misdirected” “The Wrong Time” “Hallelujah Boys”
Andy Sundwall, a.k.a the Punk Rock Warlord, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by following him on Twitter @TheAndySundwall.