Ever since Mike McClogan formed The Street Dogs in 2002, the band has been delivering solid album after solid album to an ever growing fan base. It all started with Savin Hill and now, five records in, the band is here with their first Self-Titled effort where they once again build on their already impressive back catalogue.
On my review for State of Grace, I called the album the perfect Street Dogs record – that one record that you’d point to when trying to describe what the band sounds like. After listening to their Self-Titledalbum, I can safely say that they’ve given State of Grace a run for its money for what is the go to Street Dogs album.
The album features everything that has come to define the Boston street punk band. It’s an energetic romp through eighteen songs that emphasize McClogan’s signature vocal style. A mixture of street punk and oi punk, Street Dogs leaves behind most of their Celtic influence but instead rally around a sense of blue-collar working anthems.
The songs are anthemic, calling out to you to sing back with them. Fast enough to get your blood flowing and fist pumping while melodic enough that every word comes through clear and strong – making it so much easier to sing along with. And when they decide to slow it down, like on Bobby Powers, 10 Wood Road or Poor, Poor Jimmy, they’re able to still deliver the songs with urgency and passion as McClogan sings about friends long gone.
Lyrically, Street Dogs continues in the same vein as most of The Street Dogs material: positive, blue collar anthems that tell tales of the working man, the passing of friends and loved ones, living for today or the powers of music. So while the lyrics in Punk Rock and Roll may not be the most innovative, the sincerity and excitement seeps through that you become obsessed with them; and I, for one, can’t help but love and agree with the sentiments that McClogan expresses in there.
Really, the only thing that hinders the complete success of the album is the length. At eighteen songs and forty minutes, it lasts a bit too long for comfort. None of the songs ever stick out as a weak spot; but as a whole it would’ve felt better had it been a bit more concise in its delivery.
Still, Street Dogs is an impressive album that any Street Dogs fan will love; and frankly, if you don’t like them five records in, you never will at this point.