Street Dogs

Street Dogs

Written by: PP on 14/10/2010 05:46:30

Featuring the old Dropkick Murphys singer Mike McColgan, Street Dogs have steadily climbed up the punk rock ladder with a hard working ethic and a homogenous approach to composing their songs - a winning formula in the genre as most of you know. Like most other Boston punk rock bands, they specialize in high-energy street punk, where Irish folk vibes run strong or subtle all depending on the band in question, but there they are nevertheless. They're now on album number five, the eponymously titled "Street Dogs", which sees their sound remain largely unchanged from previous work.

If you haven't been paying attention in class, then I'll just throw out an easy reference point and compare these guys to the working-class punk of The Briggs and the irish folk punk of Dropckick Murphys. The usage of bagpipes, violins etc is mostly confined to the intro "Formation", whilst the folksy atmosphere is formed through other means, mostly the rough clean vocals of McColgan and his traditional/folk singer approach to delivering his vocals. Like my fellow scribe TL noted in his review of their previous album "State Of Grace", it's the relentless speed which upkeeps Street Dogs as a force of good rather than bad. This is also why Street Dogs have so far failed to achieve international fame like that of their peers in Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly; when the riverdance / folk element is lacking in the mix, the choruses have to be extra good to draw in the big crowds. A few songs run the additional mile to do just that, with the punk anthem "Punk Rock And Roll" and the fiery "Up The Union" at the forefront. The closing ballad "Poor, Poor Jimmy" is probably the best song, however, landing straight into Dropkick Murphys territory as a drunken sing along piece. See what happened there? As soon as they deviated from the standard working-class street punk, a good track became a great one instead. Most tracks are content to survive through a high-energy dose of chord-based punk rock, and while these aren't bad, on an 18 track album many of them tend to blend in too much.

That said, Street Dogs are always going to keep receiving credit from the punk rock scene for several reasons: one, their tracks are all fast-paced, featuring a high tempo perfect for push-moshing and fun times live. Two, their songs are easily accessible. It doesn't take many listens to appreciate a chorus or a harmonica section in the song. Three, they've stayed true to the Boston punk sound, and there are a whole lotta people into that sort of sound. But just like "State Of Grace", "Street Dogs" doesn't have enough momentum to push the band over from a Dropkicks support slot to a large headlining date. Still, it contains enough solid punk rock songs to be a decent album nonetheless, if a completely unsurprising one.

Download: Punk Rock And Roll, Poor Poor Jimmy, Fighter (re-recording)
For the fans of: The Briggs, Dropkick Murphys, The Deadly Sins
Listen: Myspace

Release date 31.08.2010
Hellcat Records

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