Trends have come and gone in the past twenty years, but time has stood still for the Droogs, who have been pounding out their own form of eclectic, atmospheric rock n' roll since the mid-seventies. Their first single, a cover of the Sonic's "He's Waiting", was recorded in 1973. The next year they released two additional singles, one aptly entitled "Ahead of My Time", considering they predated the 60's garage rock revival by at least five years. Two more singles, with an ever-revolving rhythm section, followed before the band nearly called it quits, ironically, just at the onslaught of the 60's inspired bands.
In 1978, an original penned by vocalist Ric Albin and guitarist Roger Clay, "Set My Love On You," wound up on Rhino Records' Saturday Night Pogo compilation compilation, and 1979's L.A.In included 'Ahead Of My Time." Venues started opening and bands like the Last, the Unclaimed, and the Plimsouls began performing. When bassist Dave Provost, formerly with the Textones and Dream Syndicate, joined in the early eighties, the Droogs became more active than ever, recording the four song EP Heads Examined in 1983, then their debut LP Stone Cold World the following year.
The band then embarked on several successful tours of the East Coast and Europe, where they played to packed houses and excellent reviews. After years of releasing their own records, the Droogs were finally signed by PVC/Jem in the eighties, only to have the label go under while the band was on tour in support of the 1987 release of the Kingdom Day LP/CD. They had just completed a ten-city midwestern stint opening for guitar legend Robin Trower, before continuing on their own from Boston to New Orleans.
Like many American bands, the Droogs found their greatest success in Europe. One of their most avid collectors, Hans Kesteloo of Germany's Music Maniac label, compiled the band's early singles on one album, Anthology. Music Maniac has also released their first two albums, produced by Earle Mankey, on one CD, as well as Mad Dog Dreams (1989) and Guerrilla Love-In (1991), produced by Paul B. Cutler, with guest guitar collaborations from Dean Chamberlain and Karl Precoda; and vocal duets with Steve Wynn and Carla Olson. Nationally, the early nineties saw the release of Want Something on Skyclad, a compilation of tunes from the previous European albums, plus bonus tracks.
Atomic Garage, their seventh album, marks a return to the Droogs' distinctive songwriting. The album was released in Europe by Spain's Impossible Records. Plug n Socket, the band's own label, will handle American distribution. Read more about the Droogs in issue No. 1 of Do The Pop! 1011 Boren Ave, Ste. 114, Seattle, Washington 98104-1300.
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