Durango 95

  • Durango 95
  • Lose Control (Can. Star) 1983 
  • Mothers Day (Can. Star) 1990 
  • Purple Toads
  • Purple Toads (Can. Star) 1986 
  • Love Songs for the Hard of Hearing (Can. Star) 1988 

These five garage-punk wiseacres from Oshawa, Ontario must have been raised on a strict diet of the Shadows of Knight. (Although that wouldn’t explain why they took their name from a car driven in A Clockwork Orange.) Greg Weir has a semi-whiny teen voice that blends efficiently with the band’s restrained roar on Lose Control. Not spectacular, but good fun.

Before splitting in 1984 (the two guitarists and bassist went on to form the Purple Toads), the Durangos cut a fun- filled second album that wasn’t issued until six years later. Mothers Day pushes less stylized/less funny/more confident/more mature rock’n’roll (Weir’s voice is a lot easier to take this time around) on such charging originals as “Cats Aren’t Like People,” “Hangin’ From a Tree” and “Waking Up Stoned.”

The Purple Toads play ’60s punk classics (“You’re Gonna Miss Me,” “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White,” “Nobody but Me,” etc.) and garagey originals (“You Got Money”) with unfettered enthusiasm and solid skill on the excellent Purple Toads; guitarists Paul MacNeil and Rob Sweeney can get a good Yardbirds-style R&B fire going. With the exception of “Tobacco Road” and three others, the raunchier-sounding Love Songs is entirely (and effectively) self-penned.

[Ira Robbins]