Forget the Dropkick Murphies, the Street Dogs are where it is at. The new band from the Dropkick Murphies ex-lead singer, Mike McColgan, plays working-class punk-rock with a polish that is sadly lacking from too many releases of the type. Each song comes roaring out of the gate, and provides the listening audience with a sing-able chorus like some of the most memorable Murphies tracks. The title track, along with the very visual video, gallops along like the unholy hybrid of California-punk and Boston-punkcore that it is. The vocals during the track are put out in a half-gritty, half-silky style that reminds one exactly why the Murphies were so successful in the past. On the whole, the energy level that is captured in the first few songs of the disc is maintained during the entirety of the disc, but the disc is over-stuffed with songs.
Simply put, the CD is slightly too long to keep the interest of the average punker. Sure, the songs are just as catchy whether or not you are listening to “Cut Down on the 12th” or “Declaration”, but the CD is without that added oomph given by a choppy ending. The aforementioned “Declaration” is an interesting creature, as it is infused with eighties’ style hair rock to create something in the form of a fitting tribute. The only major thing that presents itself as a minor issue with the disc is the lack of inflection that Mike’s voice has. He can scream, sure, but if you are looking for someone to use their voice as another instrument, this may not be the CD you need.
What strikes me as the most important facet of this disc is not the typical, re-hashed guitars that fall by the wayside, or the utterly forgettable drumming on the disc, is the sincerity that Mike brings to this disc. It really is one thing to go and sing about growing up in a community, but it is really something else to actually divorce yourself from popular music to help a community. Still, this sincerity does not necessarily translate to an amazing disc. Rather, “Savin Hill” is a disc that is solid through-and-through, but does not really push the envelope of punk music. “Modern Day Labor Anthem” may put Mike’s voice in a more sing-songy tone and hold some excellent politics, but the simple fact is that this is just a decent record. Not bad for being out of the game, but the Street Dogs might benefit from a producer that has more of a vision for the band beside being Dropkick II.
Rating : 6.8/10
Top Tracks : Modern Day Labor Anthem, Don’t Preach to Me
Street Dogs – Savin Hill / 16 Tracks / Crosscheck Records / email@example.com / http://www.street-dogs.com /