The Street Dogs and I have a great history together. Never mind the fact that I have never met them or heard them live, but I played the shit out of “Savin Hill” when I still had my show on WGRE. Regardless, ever since we received that early title for review, the Street Dogs have had a special place in my heart. This self-titled release, their fifth, showcases more of the same music that made them big in the first place as well as provides the constituent members of the band the space they need to continue innovating and experimenting with their music.
“Formation” is the first track on the disc, acting as a quick introduction that brings listeners up to date, while “Rattle and Roll” feels like the first salvo from a well-stocked army. Never getting much beyond two and a half minutes with their tracks, Street Dogs light up tracks with sizzling guitars, chunky bass, memorable vocals and splashy drums – where there is a cohesive sound created with this album, the virtuosity here allows for each member to shine at different times. Where there is a guitar-heavy feel to “Hang ‘Em High”, the drums during a “Freedom” seem to be what draws me back time and time again.
Where even punk bands struggle to put this much in the way of songs on their releases, there is no sense that the Street Dogs have slowed down or otherwise front-loaded this album with the best songs up front. Rather, whether listeners are focusing in on “Punk Rock and Roll” or “Oh Father”, they are being shaken around and beaten down. While more than just punk, the Street Dogs are able to bottle the essence of an active pit and put it to listeners on a piece of plastic. If you’ve listened to any ‘Dogs releases in the past or are new to the act, make it a point to go and pick up a copy of this release.
‘Top Tracks: Rattle and Roll, The Shape of Other Men
Street Dogs – S/T / 2010 Epitaph / 18 Tracks / http://www.streetdogs.com / http://www.epitaph.com