Burnside Album Details

Suburbs, The, In Combo

"The first album by Minneapolis' Suburbs (a single and a 7" EP had preceded it) is one of the pioneering releases of the American post-punk indie scene, and proof that the Minneapolis scene of the early '80s wasn't just Replacements and Hüsker Dü-style guitar aggression. Though guitarist B.C. Allen is capable of both punky noise and Gang of Four-style angularity, his playing is usually secondary to Chan Poling's synthesizers and piano; at a time when it seemed like bands were allowed to have either synths or guitar, the artful combination of the two on In Combo was almost pioneering. Musically, In Combo is the turning point of the Suburbs' career, balanced between the manic physicality of their earlier songs (see "Cig Machine" for proof that they can still tear it up) and the smoother, more danceable material from later albums like Credit in Heaven and Dream Hog. (It's roughly equivalent to Roxy Music's Country Life, in other words.) As always, Beej Chaney's smooth, dramatic vocals and bizarre lyrical themes are at the forefront, and the music is about as sophisticated as the American indie scene got around this time. Later albums were arguably more complex, but In Combo remains probably the Suburbs' greatest vinyl moment." --Stewart Mason AllMusic

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