The Suburbs – In Combo

ARTIST: The Suburbs 220px-Suburbsincombo
TITLE: In Combo
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Oh, no (except those in Minnesota)
LINEUP: Chan Poling, Beej Chaney, Hugo Klaers, Bruce Allen, Michael Halliday
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Smart-ass Minnesotans bring a post-punk sensibility to the heartland independent scene, proving it’s not all about hardcore.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Suburbs were ahead of their time, a bit. They combined a little of this, a little of that, and a little smart-assery into some fine new-wave / kinda punk / kinda arty music. This record was a big hit for an independent record from a small label in the Midwest.

The songs do have an arty feel – kind of like the Gang of Four but not as strident and much, much less serious. Songs like “Hobnobbin with the Executives”, “Cig Machine” and “Chemistry Set” are raucous like the best punk rock, but they also can slow it down and be just as fun and not lose their edge with a dance beat (“Tiny People”, “Drinking”).

Had this been more readily available and / or released at a different time, this may have been a great success. Instead it was Minnesota’s little secret.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Before this record, they had released an EP and a single. All of these records were on Twin/Tone, the label famous for the Replacements and Soul Asylum catalogs.


GRADE: A-: Off kilter fun – go hobnob with the executives…


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