Essential New Music: Suicide Commandos’ “Time Bomb”

In 1975, Suicide Commandos were Minneapolis’ version of something that was festering independently in every locale worldwide: They were the local weirdos sick of the dominant culture who owned Stooges and New York Dolls records. Thing was, they also owned Roxy Music, Can, Be-Bop Deluxe and even  ZZ Top records. The high-speed assault guitarist/vocalist Chris Osgood, drummer Dave Ahl and bassist/vocalist Steve Almaas developed seemed so unique that when the first Ramones LP was released, many locals asked the Commandos if they’d heard this New York band now copying them. Thirty-eight years following debut Make A Record and dissolution, they cut the follow-up, and their town’s flagship indie label regroups itself to issue it. Time Bomb is a solid blast of ferocious rock ‘n’ roll defying time and logic, bordering on Cheap-Trick-meets-country on Almaas contributions like opener “Hallelujah Boys,” but it mostly concentrates on Osgood’s Eddie-Cochran-with-a-Marshall constructions and absurdist wit. Solid and shining.

—Tim Stegall