Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
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The genuine article in punk rock
Stephen F Mulcahy | United States | 10/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This band of veterans of the Boston punk scene has definitely scored a triumph with their debut release. Comprised of former members of groups like the well known Dropkick Murphys, Street Dogs have nevertheless managed to come up with a fresh and original take on the punk rock ethos.This band does not appear to have steeped themselves in the Celtic vibe that permeates a lot of the music of Dropkick Murphys and others. What is refreshing about this aggregation is that they also appear to acknowledge a debt to rock music in general. While they are definitely a hard hitting punk outfit, they are also quite impressive musicians. One of the downfalls of a lot of punk rock music is a singlemindedness and a stubborn resistance to adapt musically with each successive release, and that just doesn't seem to be something that will be a problem in the future for this band. While Street Dogs appear to possess a comprehensive knowledge of the history and meaning of punk rock, this is really a band that even people such as myself who are not punk fanatics may admire.
The Street Dogs' lyrical concerns encompass working class attitudes and issues, songs of heartbreak, odes to firefighting and a tribute to a friend who is now gone,and a very funny putdown of the likes of Susan Sarandon and Madonna.This song, ""Don't Preach to Me", is a catchy and well deserved harangue of ivory tower entertainers who try to use their own political beliefs as a guide for how people should think or what they should say. Although I must admit that my own personal beliefs tend to be left of center on most issues, I salute the Street Dogs in their effort to expose the grandiosity and self- importance of Hollywood types.
Interestingly, there is even a country cover on this album: Kris Kristofferson's "The Pilgrim: Chapter 23." Other than Johnny Cash and one or two others, I'm not a big fan of country music. I also think that while Kristofferson is a rather good actor, he is a good songwriter but a truly terrible singer. Nevertheless, the Street Dogs' version of this tune works well in the context of the album, as does the other cover, a version of a Sham 69 song that has been adapted to fit the city that the band hails from. " Modern Day Labor Anthem" is an anti-downsizing jeremiad, a song that exposes the hypocrisy, and overall shameful behavior of the typical corporation. It is almost like a punk rendition of the sort of folk material that, say, Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs, or the early Dylan could have wrote.
The first single and eponymous album track " Savin Hill" , is a powerful and evocative memory of early days spent in the (generally) blue collar, heavily ethnic Catholic neighborhood of Savin Hill, a part of Dorchester, Boston's largest residential district. Having spent my formative years in that particular neighborhood, I can attest to the veracity of singer Mike McColgan's description of the neighborhood,having known all of the people and places he names in the cut. McColgan's song goes well beyond the simple jingoism and the crude xenophobia that some might attempt with such a topic, he is able to convey every emotion he felt about himself or his neighborhood, whether pleasant or dark, with this tune. Most importantly, there is no sham or artifice here, the lyrics and vocals on this track, and really on the entirety of the record,leave no doubt of the honesty and conviction of the album. Whether one agrees with the opinions expressed on the album, one has to respect the tenacity of the playing and singing and the sheer belief in themselves that the group express so vividly on the release. I strongly recommend this album to not only fans of bands like the Dropkicks and other local acts, but also for afficionados of punk rock and those who enjoy honest and forceful rock and roll. I see a bright future for the Street Dogs."
Flawless, no other word fits better.
Jack Dempsey | South Miami Beach, Florida | 08/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to admit a bias right from the start. I always liked the Dropkick's better with Mike. I still love them to this day, and have been to see them more times than I can remember, but a little part of me still carries a twing of pain when I recall his depart from the Dropkick's. Al fills those shoes well, and I've always liked him since his Bruisers days (even caught those boys too back then), but I think you guys know what I'm gettin' at.
At any rate...this release. Brothers, right when you hear "Next stop Savin Hill, doors open to the left..." you know it's gonna be good, and you know it's going right for the heart (and coming right from there as well). It never lets up. From start to finish, I think tears filled up more than a few times and I was filled with that joy again that I recalled so well.
I'm really at a loss to fully peg how great this release is, but if you are at all familiar with this family tree and where this group's history has been, you know you're going to be given something absolutely stellar. The same holds true for their other release as well. So do yourself a favor and get both. You'll thank yourself later."
Knocked My Sox Off
kevin yee | franklin, nc | 12/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have only seen Mike McColgan live once, and that was when he and Al Barr sang "Barroom Hero" at the Boston St. Paddys Day show in 02. His was a serious force on stage, though, even for the few brief moments he appeared. I was in awe. Unfortunately, I wasnt able to catch Street Dogs when they opened up for Flogging Molly and Im still upset that I didnt know about the band sooner or I would have been the first in line when doors opened.
But onto the album: I get a real kick out of Boston accents, so from the moment the T announcer relayed "Next stop Savin Hill Station doors open on the left" my ears perked up. The ensuing track, "Savin Hill", is fabulous; powerful, rowdy, raucous, and fun. It is a great way to open the record.
For the most part this piece of music takes most of its influences from the punk world. Like other listeners have mention its definitely not as hard as some of the anthems on the tremendous "Do or Die" nor as raw as the super cool "Boys on the Docks" EP, but it still packs one helluva punch. To me much of it has to do with Mike McColgan. He sounds great here; his voice is so pure and inspiring, not to mention you can feel the conviction in his words when he sings. Its almost like he never left the music scene, even though it had been some 5 odd years. Much of the lyrical content revolves around growing up and living in, as well as observing, the working world. The band, featuring Jeff Erna, Johnny Rioux, and Rob Guidotti, and their style of music are also a perfect match to the vocals. Songs are lively, catchy, yes, but not trying overly hard to be, so no one will mislabel this as a pop punk album. My friend said it sounded like DKM music from Sing Loud Sing Proud with Mike singing. The guitar work may seem similar, but there is no Celtic flavor here, just plain old working class punk rock.
Inevitably, I do skip one or two tracks but overall this album is a kick in the balls the music world really needed. Songs that have stuck in my head the most are "Modern Day Labor Anthem" (which I think takes "The Worker's Song" to the cleaners), "Don't Preach to Me" and its excellent guitar work, "Star", "Borstal/Boston Breakout", "Fighter", and I just had a few Guinnesses with a buddy and we jammed to "2 Bottles". Funny thing is, we werent drinking to sorrow, but to a darn good album.
I encourage anyone interested in any kind type of rock music to give this a listen. I used to always wish for Mike McColgan to return to DKM but now I think hell be just fine as a Street Dog."