Suicide Commandos

  • Suicide Commandos
  • Make a Record (Blank) 1978  (PolyGram) 1996 
  • The Commandos Commit Suicide Dance Concert (TwinTone) 1979  (Garage D'Or) 2000  (It. Rave Up) 2002 [online]  (Anthology) 2006 

Minneapolis’ Suicide Commandos were a pre-hardcore punk trio with a big local following. Signed in 1977 (along with Pere Ubu) to Phonogram’s short-lived but prescient Amerindie subsidiary, Blank, they proved that New York wasn’t the only launching site for new wave groups, and helped further the notion that records need not sound like Pink Floyd to be entertaining. Make a Record is really good, thanks largely to guitarist Chris Osgood. The live last-gig limited edition concert document contains another dose of convincing rock’n’roll with energy and enthusiasm.

The 2000 Garage D’Or reissue of the live disc adds 19 tracks to the skimpy 27-minute Twin\Tone version without sacrificing an ounce of quality. From sharp originals (“Mosquito Crucifixion”) to revved-up, eyebrow-raising covers like Brian Eno’s “Seven Deadly Finns,” it gushes pure adrenalin. An Italian punk reissue label compiled the best and most complete version, however, dropping three less-than-essential selections and adding seven songs, three of them unreleased originals added to seven from the Garage D’Or release. The download-only label Anthology offers only the 13 tracks on the Twin\Tone original.

[Ira Robbins / Jim Glauner]