Thursday, September 23, 2010
STREET DOGS: SELF-TITLED
What starts off as another batch of forgettable slogan-chanting with boots on soon gets serious. Street Dogs mix the leather-jacket, crust-punk ethics of old with hearty, Boston folk-punk and the kind of lyrics you're likely to read on placards around South Africa.
No surprise though, when you find out frontman Mike McColgan was the original Dropkick Murphys singer, before he quit music and joined the Boston Fire Department (like his father and grandfather before him).
Opener "Rattle and Roll" sounds so obsessed with punk-rock-anthem-hood, it comes off more like the Gummi Bears theme song. "Up the Union" carries on the workers' rights motto-chants with cries like "Support the EFCA." And "Punk Rock and Roll" completes the album's fist-raising, dock-side opening trilogy of punk-rock clichés. This time bypassing workers rights for a little bit of fun self-destruction:
"We all need a little punk rock and roll, tonight we're gonna drink and tonight we'll smoke."
Crossing over into more sensitive, Bouncing Souls territory, "The Shape of Other Men" is the best song on the album, by far - not just more cliché-filled bar-fodder for the pit. "Yesterday" keeps the real good times going, trading in its wood-glued Mohawk and boots for a flat cap and some flannel.
Overall, it's classic blue-collar Boston punk-rock. The more reflective, personal songs stick with you longer than the recycled slogan chants. And a lot of it's pretty forgettable. But the drunk punks at the bar will no doubt raise their glasses in approval, for a little bit.
Street Dogs on MySpace