The Durocs

Real Gone Music, 2012


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


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… er, shoes, can’t be all that 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 my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 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.

Recording as the Durocs, they released 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 was 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,” which features 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.

Rating: B

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