There have been plenty of great albums released in 2010. The Gaslight Anthem’s “American Slang,” The Menzingers “Chamberlain Waits” and Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” come to mind. However, there hasn’t been a great straight punk album released in 2010…well, there hadn’t been.
Enter The Street Dogs self-titled release.
The Street Dogs have long been known as a hard-working, working-class punk band. If the band has a M.O. of any sort, it’s “hard-working, working-class punk.” Vocalist Mike McColgan, an original member of Dropkick Murphys, left Dropkick to pursue a career as a Boston firefighter, for crying out loud. From their debut “Savin Hill,” in 2003 to “Back to the World” in ‘05 and “Fading American Dream” in ‘06, The Street Dogs have captivated both the street punk and mainstream punk rock audiences across the country.
However, 2008’s polarizing “State of Grace” was a departure of sorts from their normal street punk sound, and took a bit of wind out of The Street Dogs sails. And it’s not that “State of Grace” was a bad album, because it’s not. It’s actually the most ambitious album that The Street Dogs have released. It just wasn’t what fans were expecting from the Boston quintet.
But with their self-titled release, The Street Dogs are letting everybody know that they’re back, and they’re here to rock.
From the intro track, “Formation,” featuring bagpipes and a killer drums it’s apparent that “Street Dogs,” has a different feel than it’s predecessor.
It’s also worth noting that “Formation” is one of the best intro tracks a punk rock band has ever unleashed.
From “Formation,” the album kicks into “Rattle and Roll,” which sounds like it came off “Savin Hill.” For fans of The Street Dogs, that’s re-assuring.
“Up The Union,” “The Shape of Other Men,” and “Freedom” are other standout tracks that will leave fans of The Street Dogs previous work happy.
However, The Street Dogs didn’t just play it safe.
While still a punk track, “Ghosts” has a very rockabilly-sound. “Oh Father” sounds like it would fit in well on “State of Grace,” and the songs “Bobby Powers” and “Poor, Poor Jimmy” are slower Irish ditties that The Street Dogs do extremely well.
The only wrinkle in an otherwise great album is the inclusion of a re-recorded “Fighter,” which was an excellent track on “Savin Hill.” And don’t get me wrong, the re-recorded version sounds great, I just have never been a fan of re-recording older tracks for new albums. But that’s a minor issue in an otherwise stellar album. I can ignore that.
If you’re a fan of any type of punk rock, “Street Dogs” will not disappoint. In fact, it might just find a permanent home in your cd or record player.
Check out: “Up The Union,” “Yesterday,” “Punk Rock and Roll.”
“Street Dogs” was released via Hellcat Records. It was recorded at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, CO. They will be hitting the road with labelmates Devil’s Brigade in the fall. They will be in Santa Ana on 10/8, LA on 10/9 and San Diego on 10/10. Check out their website for more info.