Local Current Blog

Twin/Tone Records ‘forced back into existence’ to release first Suicide Commandos album in 39 years

Steve Almaas, Dave Ahl, and Chris Osgood of the Suicide Commandos (Publicity photo)

The album art features a single, well-worn amplifier blown to oblivion, the cross-hatching fraying to reveal the speakers underneath. Which seems like just about the best way possible to announce Time Bomb, the first album in 39 years from the riotous, explosive and highly influential Minneapolis trio the Suicide Commandos, who helped pave the way for a liberating new punk rock explosion that would consume the Twin Cities in the early 1980s.

Long cited by artists like the Replacements, Husker Du, and the Suburbs as the pioneers of the local punk scene and Minneapolis’s own version of the Ramones, the Commandos formed in 1975 and were one of the first artists to release an album on the revered Twin/Tone label with the live farewell album The Commandos Commit Suicide in 1979. The previous year, they had released their first and only studio album, Make a Record, on Blank/Mercury — until now, that is, when the Commandos wrestled Twin/Tone out of retirement to help them release Time Bomb.

“After Tommy Erdelyi died, Steve [Almaas, the Commandos’ bassist] pointed out that the Ramones were all gone and we were all still here, and that we should make a record,” Chris Osgood recalls. And so they did.

Time Bomb will be released on Twin/Tone — a label that says it was “forced back into existence” with the band’s reformation, and hasn’t put out an album since 1998 — on May 5, 2017. It will be available digitally, and a limited run of 1,000 copies will be pressed on vinyl. According to a press release, “touring will be strategic, local and national dates are in the planning stages,” and Twin Cities events will include a listening party at the Clown Lounge of the Turf Club on May 5 and an in-store at Treehouse Records on the May 6. A single is expected to be released imminently.

The new album will coincide with the release of Cyn Collins’ new book, Complicated Fun, which borrows its title from a Commandos song and will document the early days of their career, the rise of Twin/Tone Records, and the scene at the club the band and their peers first called home, Jay’s Longhorn Bar. Look for Complicated Fun to be released by Minnesota Historical Society Press on May 1.