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The Suicide Commandos Commit Suicide Dance Concert (Remastered by Tim Mac in 1999)

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Album Review

The Suicide Commandos were one of the pioneering Midwestern punk bands, a scrappy trio that formed in 1974 and paved the way for fellow heartland iconoclasts like the Replacements, Hüsker Dü and, to some extent, Pere Ubu. They only lasted a few years, but they left an indelible imprint on the regional rock scene. Originally issued in 1976 on Twin/Tone, Commandos Commit Suicide Dance Concert was the label's first "full-length" LP — the scare quotes are there because this album barely tips the scales at 27 minutes — and the band's final album. It's a surprisingly well-recorded document of a young and snotty band just hitting its stride, and though newcomers will probably want to start with the studio material, fans will be thrilled that this rare and long out of print recording is finally available again (via the new online-only reissue label Anthology Recordings). It includes such protopunk gems as "Attacking the Beat" (a classic "look at that girl dance" rave-up), the rockabilly-flavored "Monster Au Go Go," and a fun, sloppy version of Chuck Berry's "Oh Carol" (not to be confused with Neil Sedaka's "Oh Carol"), as well as such protopunk not-quite-gems as the puerile "Emission Control," and a not particularly insightful cover of the 19-nineteen-second fadeout tacked inexplicably onto the end. Definitely important; maybe not essential.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s

Before Prince, Hüsker Dü, Soul Asylum, and the Replacements dominated and defined the Minneapolis rock scene of the '80s, three guys, Chris Osgood, Steve Almaas, and Dave Ahl, had a swinging little punk rock combo called the Suicide Commandos. They made only two records, one of them a live one, but they were one of, if not the first and most influential, honest-to-god faster 'n' louder punk rock band to come out of the Twin Cities. Along with giving the Minneapolis punk scene a jump-start, the Commandos,...
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The Suicide Commandos Commit Suicide Dance Concert (Remastered by Tim Mac in 1999), The Suicide Commandos
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