Week in Pop: Cat Hoch, Mr. Husband, The Total Bettys, VA Violet

Sjimon Gompers

The harmonic pop mastery of Mr. Husband; oka the Brian Wilson for the new generation; photographed by Mrs. Husband.

The Suicide Commandos

The triumphant returns of The Suicide Commandos, from left, Steve Almaas, Dave Ahl & Chris Osgood; press photo courtesy of the band.

Old school meets the new schools of scuzz as The Suicide Commandos returned with a listen to the “Boogie’s Coldest Acre” featured off the forthcoming album Time Bomb available via the imprint Twin Tone Records (that was resurrected just for this release) May 5. Like a blast from some 39 odd years brought back from the past, The Commandos return with more sordid tales from the Twin Cities from the group whose Chris Osgood taught heroes like Bob Mould, Dave Pirner & more guitar back in the day. Listen as the Minneapolis group makes 2017 feel like an extension of 1975 where tales of derelicts & the best laid plans of mice & men being foiled by their own folly as served up with a whole lotta attitude that stays true to all punk ethics.

Also take in The Suicide Commandos’ video for “Boogie’s Coldest Acre” that features photography from Steven Cohen, Dan Corrigan, Terry Gydesen, Paul Lundgren, Ann Marsden, Lisa Nebenzahl, Nick Wosika, with video montage work courtesy of Paul Stark. The legendary Minneapolis trio shares a bit of where they came from, where they have been & all the exciting new opportunities of now that point to where they are headed toward. Their return presents the group reclaiming their DIY, o.g. noise-pop throne as The Suicide Commandos remind you about the folks they have influenced (past & present) that points toward the terrain of all tomorrow’s heroes.

The legendary & influential Chris Osgood penned the following exclusive ballad of the band style that connects the dots between 1977 & 2017:

The Suicide Commandos are a Punk Rock Band that formed in 1975. We have been touring and making studio albums about once every 39 years. The latest Commando Record ,“Time Bomb” is being released by Twin/Tone Records on May 5th. Twin/Tone is a legendary Minneapolis label that put out records by The Replacements, Soul Asylum, The Suburbs, The Wallets, Babes In Toyland, ourselves and many other bands until they stopped in 1994. Now they have started again!

The Commandos are a three-piece band, myself (Chris Osgood,), Steve Almaas, and Dave Ahl. To paraphrase Billy Gibbons, “Same three guys, same three chords.” The music we wrote and recorded for “Time Bomb” comes from very much the same place it did in 1977 when we recorded “Make A Record” for Phonogram’s “New Wave” imprint Blank Records. (Blank was started by Cliff Burnstein, and we were his second signing after Pere Ubu, our friends from Cleveland. Cliff and his partner Peter Mensch now are Q Prime and manage Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers and other colossal bands.)

The big difference from 1977, is that we are 39 years older than when we made our first studio record! There have been miscellaneous live albums released in between, notably various versions of The Commandos Commit Suicide Dance Concert culled from our last three nights at The Longhorn Bar in Minneapolis Fall of 1978 on Twin/Tone Records, Garage D’Or Records and Rave Up Records in Europe. Paul Stark at Twin/Tone recorded all three nights before we broke up. We each put a song on Twin/Tone’s Big Hits of Mid-America Vol. III (recorded posthumously). Then one of the band members Steve Aalmaas moved to New York to form Beat Rodeo and Dave and I went on to other projects individually and together. The Commandos began playing together again here and there, usually introduced as “Back By Popular Demand” and we have been doing a few shows a year pretty regularly in this century. We now know a few more chords, whether we choose to use them or not!

“Boogie’s Coldest Acre” is about thinking you are heading for one thing and discovering that you have landed at another place. Maybe that other place looked good but isn’t so good for you. For one thing, you’ll note from the lyrics of the song, it smells funny! There also is an instructional refrain that may or may not be directed at a fellow traveler. “Will you put that fuckin’ thing down?!” I think we have all thought that in some situation at some point, right?

The Suicide Commandos brand new album Time Bomb will be available from the equally legendary label Twin Tone Records.

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