Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Street Dogs - State of Grace

There’s a nice little range of Boston-based or influenced bands who exploit the “fighting Irish” mentality and transform it into rough and merry punk rock, a certain wall of camaraderie among them that’s not as visible in west coast punk bands. What the Street Dogs have got that the others haven’t is the biting bark of Mike McColgan, the former Dropkick Murphys frontman who’s unofficially set the style standard for his genre.

Musically, there’s not much originality bursting through the Dogs’ fourth record, but their angry spirit and true lyrics compensate well. There are tributes here to several deceased – McColgan’s grandmother and firefighting uncle, as well as one of the most well-written tributes to Joe Strummer I’ve seen yet.

The lead guitar on “Rebel Song” is a bit cheap and cheesy, but the band’s cover of the Skids’ “Into the Valley” is a real fighter, “ahoy” aplenty. All this plus a swipe at the NRA, a narrative on homelessness and a beautiful cover shot by '70s/'80s teen skinhead photographer Gavin Watson. Not bad.

Street Dogs - Mean Fist
Street Dogs - Elizabeth
Purchase State of Grace


FiL said...

I saw the Dropkicks open for the Pistols in 2003. And yes, they trotted out the bagpipes for Finn MacCumhail. Also on the bill were Trail of Dead, The Rapture, and The Libertines. A rather good show for the money, I recall...

China said...

You know, Fil, I envy you just a bit for getting to witness that kind of lineup at once. What was the occasion - wasn't a festival, sounds like? I do think the Rapture seems a bit of a mismatch, though, true?