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Music Review: The Durocs – The Durocs

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Anybody who calls the extra songs on their album, “bone-us” tracks, and takes the name of their band from a hog that has big ears and even bigger…well…err shoes, can’t be all bad.

Scott Mathews spent his late teen years playing drums for Elvin Bishop and then being a part of the band Ice with future Journey lead singer Steve Perry. Meanwhile, future bandmate Ron Nagle was a member of the mid-1960s band, Mystery Trend, and then in 1970 released a solo album titled Bad Rice. It was produced by Jack Nitzsche and has become a cult classic. By the mid-1970s they had joined forces as songwriters producing material for the likes of Barbra Streisand, Michelle Phillips, and The Tubes.

They joined together to issue a self-titled album during 1979. Nagle provided the keyboards and Mathews just about everything else including drums, bass, guitars, lead vocals, and even some bongos. Real Gone Music has now resurrected this lost gem from the end of the punk movement era.

The album’s opening statement, “Hogwild,” began with a pig squeal and then transitioned into an all-out rocker. “Seeker (You Be The Sucker)” was an example of their sardonic wit and satire as they savaged the pseudo-spiritual trends of the day.

It was not be the album’s best track but their cover of Gene Pitney’s “It Hurts to Be In Love” was the most interesting. What prompted them to take this pop classic and twist it out of shape is lost to music history.

The Durocs were a versatile band. Just as you are getting used to their dark sense of humor and unrelenting brand of rock, they produced gentle ballads such as “One Day at a Time” and “Don’t Let the Dream Die.”

The eight “bone-us” tracks feature the duo together, plus three solo tracks by Mathews. The best of the lot is the Mathews creation “Nawgahide,” with Ernie K-Doe providing the voice.

The Durocs album has been missing in action for nearly 34 years until its recent reissue. Mathews and Nagle have continued their relationship and have not ruled out another album. It remains an interesting look at the less-traveled side of the late 1970s music scene.

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About David Bowling

  • Phil Aaberg

    Nice to see this album reviewed again. But….Sorry, man. You got the credits all wrong, and a lot of Scotty’s history.