The Suicide Commandos
(2017, Twin/Tone Records)
Originally active from 1975 to 1979, the Suicide Commandos lit the fuse for the combustible Twin Cities punk rock scene. In 1978, the trio of Chris Osgood (guitars/vocals), Steve Almaas (bass/vocals), and Dave Ahl (drums/vocals) released the crucial Make a Record and a crackling live album before going their separate ways. Almaas fronted Beat Rodeo before moving to West Saugerties and releasing solo records. The Commandos have reunited sporadically over the decades, and now, nearly 40 years later, comes a proper follow-up to their inspirational debut. Their original raw energy, commitment, and lyrical irreverence are fully intact, with added flourishes of country twang, hard boogie, swagger, and plenty of beautiful guitar distortion. "Hallelujah Boys" is a paean to playing rock 'n' roll with lifelong friends, while "Boogie's Coldest Acre" boasts the exhortation to "put that fucking thing down!" The Almaas-penned "For Such a Mean Time" is a searching folk rocker attempting to make sense of a zeitgeist lacking in human compassion.