Street Dogs
Back To The World



by Rudd13 USER (61 Reviews)
August 31st, 2006 | 14 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

War is surely one of the strongest sources of inspiration for writers, authors and songwriters alike. The emotion poured into the thoughts of famine, poverty and violence makes for stronger and most solid material that can really reach out to the whole world, if not an already targeted country. It eventually works as a visual aphrodisiac to the heart when it comes to pop culture, whether it’s the latest, hottest book about the Iraqi invasions, or the latest, hottest movie about the 9/11 attack. Some could say it’s a gimmick to earn larger, faster profit; but rest assured, there will always be the few that reach out to the smaller, more outgoing crowds that really know what they’re talking about, and speak strongly from the heart, about the few fortunes and the many losses of war.

The Street Dogs formed in Boston in early 2000, joined by ex-Dropkick Murphys vocalist Mike McColgan and Mighty Mighty Bosstones drummer Joe Sirois. Not enough ‘supergroup’ for the rest, but plenty enough for us. McColgan had left the Dropkicks earlier on to become a Boston firefighter. He came back and created the Street Dogs, knowing he couldn’t keep away from music forever. The band plays a style of very patriotic, Americanized punk with plenty of more modern rock rhythms and spunky licks. Back To The World marks the sophomore release for the band, and with this they target the violence and tragedy of war, accompanied by other many, many usual punk chant-alongs (freedom, fighting, drinking…).

Back To The World brings forward very interesting styles and few grooves to satisfy the listeners with 30 long minutes of what modern ‘punk’ was always meant to be. The patriotic spirit of the music flows freely through the music, which is mainly led by singer Mike McColgan. His words can turn arid, to sentimental, to 90’s thrash almost instantly. It’s a very original choice of words on every track, and you can see the leader’s inspiration and confidence in the music. Some of the album can pick up slight traces of British dialect from McColgan’s voice, and at times it can turn too harsh for the music’s sake, but it keeps the spirit of the music alive, as mentioned earlier, like a candle in the darkness, if you will.

Strike A Blow, one of the album’s solid anthems, and the choice for the most essential and powerful track on the record, is an earth-shattering performance on the musicians’ part as well as McColgan’s. Balancing a powerful lead, along with very modern, original rhythms and heart-pounding chants and yells, the album starts off clean and incredibly well, with one foot forward, showing off the band’s ability to create an excellent environment for powerful material, whether it be slow or lightning-fast. Pull The Pin and the title track share this gift as well, and really stand out with their spunky leads and rejoicing chants. Styles also head towards a small trace of reggae/dub-influenced grooves, in Stagger, a tale about society’s weaknesses. And the all-true, nerve-wracking punk anthem, Drink Tonight makes it’s mind blowing appearance with the fastest rhythm in the album, and a full whole minute of alcohol-induced insanity. Guitar-work can turn pretty raw and gritty in certain bridges of tracks, but it also stays true to the simple fundamentals of strong chords and solid transitions.

I haven’t heard a better example of ‘modern with influence’ than the Street Dogs so far when it comes to the touchy genre like punk. It’s not straight punk like the Murphys, neither is it bouncy, hoppy ska like the Bosstones, but it gets there, and the message stays very true. Joe Sirois from the Bosstones has very powerful, man-handling drum-tracks on the album, and while it may not be anything exceptional, the frantic, lightning-fast bits in Drink Tonight and the steady, creative jam-beats on Stagger and the ever-so-true anti-Bush song, Tales Of Mass Deception always do it for me.
Back To The World is the beginning of something new and original. It’s patriotic, unpredictable, and touching in the right occasions. You can see through the many augmentations that in the end, only old-fashioned punk is present, and is the base of the music (It’s only 30 minutes long…).
If yelling out for the clash of war and peace and the middle-class man’s struggle already got old years ago…..well, you’re just better off picking something up from the "best-selling" section of your local record store.

Street Dogs:
Mike McColgan- Vocals
Marcus Hollar- Guitar, Vocals
Johnny Rioux- Bass
Joe Sirois- Drums, Vocals

Stand Out Tracks:
Strike A Blow
Drink Tonight


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user ratings (29)

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 31st 2006


Nice review man. I'm gonna hear some of this because I never go wrong with the music you review.

Digging: Bill Callahan - Gold Record

Storm In A Teacup
August 31st 2006


You Alone and In Defense Of Dorchester are the only two songs I've heard off of this, but they're both amazing. Sad you didn't mention either, but great review still, Santiago. :thumb:

Digging: Envy - The Fallen Crimson

August 31st 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

Don't make me bitch at you, kid.

Storm In A Teacup
August 31st 2006



August 31st 2006


Album Rating: 3.5

No offense directed at you, little Ian. ;)

Storm In A Teacup
September 1st 2006



September 1st 2006


This band is great, as was your review. Nice job.

September 1st 2006


Awesome review. I'll definitely check this out since I enjoy both the Bosstones and the Dropkick Murphys.

September 1st 2006


I saw this band at Warped Tour 05 when I was half awake (I had just seen Thrice and MCR) not bad stuff. Very nice review as usual, I hope you get promoted to staff soon.

September 1st 2006


"I had just seen Thrice and MCR"

My Condolences.

Good review, voted.

September 1st 2006


nice review, ill be checking this out.

September 1st 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Solid listen, and very good review.

September 2nd 2006


Great review, but some annoying metaphor's ''Like a candle in the darkness'' etc. Bit sugary and unneccessary after such a thorough description of his vocal styles.

September 2nd 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

Great album, great band. Nice review.

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