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Street Dogs - Back To The World (Cover Artwork)

Street Dogs

Street Dogs: Back To The WorldBack To The World (2005)
DRT Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: HeinHein
(others by this writer | submit your own)

A bit has happened since I first listened and reviewed this Boston band's previous release on Crosscheck Records in 2003. I'm not talking about tsunamis or politics here, it's just that I saw them perform live with the Briggs and Flogging Molly in Antwerp a couple weeks ago and these guys have mana.
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A bit has happened since I first listened and reviewed this Boston band's previous release on Crosscheck Records in 2003. I'm not talking about tsunamis or politics here, it's just that I saw them perform live with the Briggs and Flogging Molly in Antwerp a couple weeks ago and these guys have managed to add a fantastic finishing point with this very album, which makes me really positive about this band's bright-looking future.

Although not a lot has changed since that previous album when it comes about the choice of song style (you still get the genuine Dropkick Murphy sound without bagpipes in most of them), in my opinion they've added even more of that thing I'd like to call "accessible fun," which means these songs are spiced up with amazing sing-along backings and catchy guitars that can make an audience roar and move. In fact, it's as if they've been listening to and integrating some of the Bouncing Souls guitar work in their songs. At the same time they also reminded me somewhat more of Social Distortion (with whom they'll be touring soon) with gentle in-between guitar licks that ease down the energetic sound a bit. The vocals of firefighter and original Dropkick singer Mike McColgan are again remarkably infectious and at times reminded me of those of SNFU's Mr. Chi Pig (very obious in "Pull The Pin"), although the sound is very different here of course.

There's songs that have a somewhat different sound maybe, like "Tale Of Mass Deception" that has that typical Irish body-waving accordion touch, followed by "Drink Tonight," which is a full-throttle anthemic punk song, and then there's finishing song "Unions And The Law," a partially acoustic track that (as far as I can judge without the lyricsheet available), warns about the indifference and lack of opposition towards bosses and companies whose only quest is to look for gold, while they don't care about the families and relationships that suffer from this. The three outstanding songs for me on this album were "You Alone," "In Defense Of Dorchester" (their first hit song I guess) and "Hands Down," because this band is best at delivering Boston street punk songs with the "hey-hey's" and "woohoo's" chants topped with some crushing and riffy guitars accompanying it, never forgetting to keep the melodies going.

The year is only a few days old, but I'm sure this one will have a good chance of making it to my Top 20 list for 2005.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Dead to Me - Cuban BallerinaStreet Dogs - Fading American DreamThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyBouncing Souls - The Gold RecordThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseNOFX - The DeclineDropkick Murphys - The Meanest of Times

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (November 20, 2005)

"the band isn't really anything like DKM, other than the obvious vocal similarites."

I don't know, personally I think some songs would fit perfectly on the Do Or Die album. That's just me though. Solid album anyway. Makes me miss pre-Sing Loud DKM a lot.

Anonymous (November 3, 2005)

great band, they put on one of the best shows i have seen
the CD is great i wish it was a little more hardcore

Anonymous (October 23, 2005)

I gnore the comment below. I finally found this in a store yesterday and it fuckin' rips. Great band.

I actually think it sound much more mature and "tuff" than Savin Hill. Good production isn't always a bad thing guys.

WhatHappenedToMusic (August 29, 2005)

First cd I bought in about a year, and afterwards I wished I hadn't. Savin Hill was much better. I popped this cd in my friend's car and he said " is this song in a target commercial," enough said. It does have a couple of alright songs though.

hein (January 31, 2005)

"I believe most people reviewing discs for mags, fanzines and webzines don't give a solid listen to the discs they review because they have to many frickin' discs to listen to."

You're (partially) wrong. I listened to this disc numerous times before reviewing it, which I happen to do with all the stuff I review, except when all the songs sound pretty much the same. I agree that I receive too much stuff, but lately I'm just reviewing those I like most so I can concentrate on those. A break down of songs and reviewing them all seperately might be nice if you already own the disc, but to me it's boring reading when I'm wondering whether I should buy an album or not. I used to write lengthier reviews but then people started bashing those for being dull. Now I try to be brief... bashing again... you know... it's not easy to please everyone.

OnTheAttack (January 30, 2005)

Very confused by the marketing tactics of DRT.... the new issue of the Onion(?) has an ad, with "Featuring Mike McColgan from the Dropkick Murphys" in bold lettering, plus the text underneath says "Check out ex-Dropkick Murphy Mike McColgan with his new band the Street Dogs at blah blah in NYC...". When this band was formed, Mike didn't want to use his former status as a selling point for the new group, and the band isn't really anything like DKM, other than the obvious vocal similarites.

Anonymous (January 30, 2005)

Why must people constantly compare this band to the Dropkick Murphys? Get over it, they are a different band! Anyway, this band really knows how to keep it real... they performed on their release day at a small bar in Dorchester, MA, very cool show.

Anonymous (January 29, 2005)

hey raging nutt sack.. you blow and albany owns you
AHHAHA just kidding!

good review

Josh

Anonymous (January 29, 2005)

Raging Geek, you are a deep individual with much wisdom in your head. I love the break down of songs. I believe most people reviewing discs for mags, fanzines and webzines don't give a solid listen to the discs they review because they have to many frickin' discs to listen to. Support your local music scene. I hope people buy music for themselves not because a magazine give it a good or bad review. Let's go PATS!

raginggeek (January 28, 2005)

I am not Wade. I am Eric.

OnTheAttack (January 27, 2005)

raginggeek is not Wade.

sXenester (January 27, 2005)

Fuckin' A

To the guy who mentioned it's more like the Mighty Mighty Street Dogs-tones...

you forgot Ben motherfuckin' Carr.

You guys heard Dicky's doing a solo album? Gonna be some Tom Waits kinda shit.

Anonymous (January 27, 2005)

raginggeek, are you Wade?

Anonymous (January 27, 2005)

Who the fuck is ERIC?

OnTheAttack (January 27, 2005)

Eric hit the nail on the head, as always.

raginggeek (January 27, 2005)

I wrote this review but the one above was posted instead. This is a more in depth and let's face it, for a while I was the only one posting about this band.

I am a huge fan of "Savin Hill" and I've been waiting patiently for "Back
To The World" (amazon.com had this album listed back in early summer
saying that it would be out on SideOne Dummy on August 24, 2004). Anyways,
it is out now on Brass Tacks/DRT Entertainment (I actually got a promo
copy a few weeks ago). Anyways, I'm not as impressed with "Back To The
World" as I was with their previous effort. It isn't as tough, it's more
"Punk Lite" (less filling).

Some general remarks about "Back to The World"
-Mike's vocals are at the forefront of the mix. Sometimes good but it
really hinders the album when the lyrics are weak.
-None of the songs totally suck. They each contain some really good
elements; but there are only a handful of songs where all of the elements
(music, lyrics, melodies) come together.
-Musically, the album is lacking variation. The guitar and bass work
sounds the same in about 80 percent of the songs. This would have been
okay for a few songs, but it makes the album sound like a collection of
b-sides and gets taxing torwards the end. For those of you with "Savin
Hill" think nine songs that sound just like "Declaration". Yeah it is a
good song but not for a whole 30 minutes.
-Very polished, adds to the lack of variation.
-The drumming is fantastic.

Since I reviewed "Savin Hill" and their original demo song by song, I
thought I'd do the same for "Back To The World".

Strike A Blow - The guitar in the beginning is cool but the lyrics are
severely lacking. I'm really disappointed with this for an opening track,
it is very mediocre. Maybe I hold the Street Dogs to a higher level but I
was expecting that they would be above a song concerning "how the radio
doesn't want to play us".

You Alone - For the loners out there, this song is for you. Its got a
good chorus.

In Defense of Dorchester - Good music and group vocals (I'm a sucker for
songs with good sing-a-longs) on this one. Hokey lyrics and I don't like
how Mike sings "Dooooooor-Cheeee-s-der", when he hits the "der" it almost
hurts (The McColgan mafia will probably be after me for this comment).

Back To The World - Upbeat tune, good music and good group vocals in the
last minute of the song, but after hearing the power/passion that Mike put
into "Far Away Coast", the lyrics in this song just sound so cheesy
especially for such a significant issue.

Tale of Mass Deception - Great lyrics. When I first downloaded this from
their website back in September, I loved the lyrics but not so much the
music. The accordion didn't do it for me, I would have preferred a
straight acoustic guitar number. I have to say that the accordion has
really grown on me. Best song on the album after?Drink Tonight.

Drink Tonight - Yeah baby. How do you make a huge old-tyme hardcore tune?
Throw in some guest vocals from Blood for Blood, that's what you do. Best
song on the album and the little kid at the end cracks me up.

Stagger - Starts of with a high polished electric reggae beat (think Clash
"Sandinista/Combat Rock" sound) but then kicks in. Adds some well needed
sound variation (if only in the intro). Lyrics are a wee like bree but the
melody of the chorus more than makes up for it.

White Collar Fraud - One of the stronger "Declaration" sounding songs.
It's got a good beat and I can sing-a-long to it.

Patrick - It seems that during this song my brain turns the volume down
because it is all beginning to sound the same. Eyes are also glazing over.

Pull The Pin - This song has a great chorus that turns my brain volume
back-up (ever so slightly though). But after hearing 7 previous songs
that sound the same, it is still tiring.

Hands Down - Meaningful lyrics. Too bad the music is boring by this point.

Union and The Law - "Savin Hill" ended with an acoustic song about labor
and it worked really well there, so we'll just do the same with this
album. Unfortunately, it just adds to the "b-side" psychosis of "Back To
The World".

In conclusion, if they cut 5 songs, The Street Dogs could have had a
really good EP. But since they didn't I did. Suggested song order if you
make your own: In Defense of Dorchester, You Alone, Tale of Mass
Deception, Drink Tonight, Stagger, White Collar Fraud, and Pull The Pin.

Let the geek bashing begin.

Anonymous (January 27, 2005)

Fuckin KB conivnced me to get the fuck out and buy the album.
thanx KB

KB (January 27, 2005)

Good album, but what's with half of the Bosstones showing up on this thing? With Joe Sirois playing drums, Nate Albert producing and playing guest guitar, and Joe Gittleman doing some background vocals it gets a little weird. It seems like the Bosstones are everywhere except together. Also I like the little hardcore break on "Drink Tonight" with the vocalist from Blood For Blood.

some1 (January 26, 2005)

good

Anonymous (January 26, 2005)

"Not so much, more of a straight up street punk band than anything else. The demo, mainly "Shots Fired", has its moments, but the new material is really good, and they're great live. No Gang Green, but they'll do a Cocksparrer tune if you bug 'em enough. "

I'm familiar with their new material. I don't say Far From Finished is poppy as an insult. I mean it as a compliment. They are well more advanced and poppy than you're average street punk band with big choruses and sing alongs. Both the two bands would be well suited fora Warped Tour audience.

Anonymous (January 26, 2005)

Got a promo copy from a friend of mine at the record store near my house. I really loved savin hill and Mike's vocals sound great but this one is a little less tough than i had hoped for. maybe it will grow on me over time or maybe i wasjust expecting too much after getting relly into savin hill.

Anonymous (January 26, 2005)

I thought these guys had signed to sideonedummy?

Either way, I see big things for these folks--Savin Hlil was entirely refreshing and I'm excited to hear this one.

Annnndd.. I thought it was interesting that the disc title is a reference to Mike McColgan's time in the Gulf War--when he and his fellow soldierfriends would talk about what they'd do when they "get back to the world."

-duped

OnTheAttack (January 26, 2005)

"Rob's new band is just as poppy as this. They don't cover a Gang Green song."

Not so much, more of a straight up street punk band than anything else. The demo, mainly "Shots Fired", has its moments, but the new material is really good, and they're great live. No Gang Green, but they'll do a Cocksparrer tune if you bug 'em enough.

www.farfromfinished.com

Anonymous (January 26, 2005)

"Far too poppy than it should be, Not having Rob write the songs definetly shows. The Gang Green cover is good, though."

Rob's new band is just as poppy as this. They don't cover a Gang Green song.

cdogg (January 25, 2005)

PS - The four and a half star score below is for the Boston punk scene in general, Mike McColgan and the Street Dogs.

cdogg (January 25, 2005)

Hmm. I loved Savin Hill after the first listen. After my first listen of this disc, it just seems kind of...average. Not bad, but (except for "In Defense of Dorchester") I don't remember any GREAT tracks like Fighter, Savin Hill, Stand Up, etc. This review and these posts seem pretty positive though. You can't always tell after the first listen anyhow - hopefully this CD will grow on me.

OnTheAttack (January 25, 2005)

Far too poppy than it should be, Not having Rob write the songs definetly shows. The Gang Green cover is good, though.

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

Does the retail CD have the lyrics?

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

I picked this up today and I liked it alot. Its along the lines of Bouncing Souls. No point in comparing it to Dropkick Murphys; they are completely different bands with different sounds. This is poppy punk with leanings to radio rock.

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

Dont waste your money, if you are looking for blue collar punk rock. If you are looking for "older guys trying to sound accesable to the youth" this is your record. Good live band, dissapointing record.

YAWN to you

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

"BSD- I did a similar thing recently, but when I woke up I found out I'd been listening to "The Miracle Of Shame" by the Mr. T Experience. Not doing that again for a while"

I haven't since. When I woke up I was covered in my own bloody puke and The Locust was blairing. And later that day we went and wore trashcans at the miniature golf course.

-BSD

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

Dont waste your money, if you are looking for blue collar punk rock. If you are looking for "older guys trying to sound accesable to the youth" this is your record. Good live band, dissapointing record.

gladimnotemo (January 25, 2005)

" the circle jerks live dvd is out today too."

i can't wait to pick that up.

I've never been a fan of Mike's vocals in this or DKM...he kinda just SHOUTS REALLY LOUD, and it kills the song for me...okay, "passionate vocals", or whatever, but...eh.

joeg (January 25, 2005)

this is a great tuesday. guys, don't forget the circle jerks live dvd is out today too.

sickboi (January 25, 2005)

I can't find this anywhere, I got dl'd 1/2 of it, just for a taste, but no one has it.

(Yet Best Buy has Bright Eyes up front for $7.99)

skankin_in_the_pit (January 25, 2005)

"This is the best Tuesday in years!!!!"

I've been saying Christmas was coming a month late since like late November. That was before I even knew about this record.

I got the 2 biggies (to me at least) early but I need to find this and the Kill Your Idols today.

thirtyseconds (January 25, 2005)

BSD- I did a similar thing recently, but when I woke up I found out I'd been listening to "The Miracle Of Shame" by the Mr. T Experience. Not doing that again for a while

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

Good band, fucking awful name though. I guess The Urban Canines already exist...

Joe

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

Better than anything dropkicks have released since they replaced their singer. They have now become a joke. But this album is amaizing.

sickboi (January 25, 2005)

This is the best Tuesday in years!!!!

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

Good album although some of its hit or miss.

Psychoos231 (January 25, 2005)

Good fuckin stuff

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

woah, i thought this was punknews, where's the punk reviews?

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

This review was already posted on punkbands.com.

- Walter Sobchak

Anchors (January 25, 2005)

Chasers are for bitches.

Unless a shot of Everclear is involved. That's another story entirely.

Anonymous (January 25, 2005)

Hm... "Savin Hill" utterly bored me and I remember buying it the day I drank half a quart of Brandy, no chaser.

-BSD

TheOneTrueBill (January 25, 2005)

I wasn't able to find this one in my advance scouting. I guess I'll have to wait for the actual release day

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