Tommy And The Commies sound like classic ’70s British mod-punks who just weren’t in the right place or time to make it into history: a random vinyl you’d come across in a discount crate, spin absent-mindedly and do double take — “Wait… who are these guys again?”
But the decade-scrambling three-piece outfit is from Ontario instead of the UK, and they just released their first ever song in February. Their 16-minute debut LP, Here Come… is due at the end of the month, and today they’ve released its searing second single.
“Suckin’ In Your 20’s” is a swaggering, hip-twisting blitz imbued with such credible sneering punk attitude that it’s genuinely hard to believe it was written in 2018 and not 1978. It’s a noisy and rambunctious bop, grounded in a tight ’60s-pop-aware melody (á la the Jam) without a trace of hardcore harshness.
Although the band (brothers Jeff and Mitch Houle plus frontman Tommy Commy) appears well out of their twenties, the song is performed (convincingly) from the perspective of a sort of ’70s caricature: a misanthropic, self-righteous hooligan who thinks life sucks and the future looks even bleaker, but figures we might as well have some fun while we’re here.
“Why bother, why try/ You’ve always got mummy and daddy’s dime,” Commy jeers before providing a thesis statement: “Suckin’ in your 20’s/ Just don’t give a shit.” But they’re nihilists in good spirits, with a taste for the rock and roll party, as they almost cheerfully shout the refrain, “No friends, no future, no love, no hope.”
The project is retro in essence, but there’s no trace of a gimmick or tribute. Although Tommy And The Commies are shaking the cobwebs off a vintage sound, their energy is fresh, vital and all their own.
02 “Straight Jacket”
03 “Permanent Fixture”
04 “Hurtin’ Boys”
05 “Suckin’ In Your 20’s”
06 “Throwaway Love”
07 “So Happy”
08 “Reggie Rocks”
Here Come… is out 9/28 via Slovenly Recordings. Pre-order it here.