Band puts forth best effort yet
Street Dogs put on one of the best live shows in punk rock, and, with the new album State of Grace, the energy of the live shows blends perfectly with the band’s newfound knack for rhythm.
Street Dogs has always been about telling stories and with State of Grace, they continue by taking on topics such as immigrant unity in "San Patricios" and gun control in "Guns."
"Mean Fist" kicks off the album with a rolling drum beat and smooth bass line, capturing the signature sing-along verse and choruses that make Street Dogs’ live act so great. The band also takes time to pay homage to two important men in front man Mike McColgan’s life.
"(Kevin J. O’Toole) is an eulogy to my uncle who was a captain for the fire department in Boston," McColgan said. "While, ‘The General’s Boombox’ is for the late, great Joe Strummer."
A roots vibe is felt on tracks like "Elizabeth" and the single "Two Angry Kids," which explores different avenues for the band. "Guns" is another track with the surprising influences of TV on the Radio and Bloc Party.
"I always thought Bloc Party was just some indie-hype band," guitarist Tobe Bean said. "Our producer Ted Hutt bought us their record and I thought it was great."
McColgan is first to admit the band branched out with State of Grace.
"We opened our minds and expanded the parameters of what we listened to," McColgan said.
"Free" is an introspective acoustic track that is stripped down in every sense of the word. With "Free," Street Dogs writes a song that is personal and at the same time something everyone can relate to. The song begins with a tale of uncertainty yet ends on a positive note.
"All my life I’ve searched for clarity, I’ve wrestled with two paths buried deep inside me," McColgan sings. "I lost some rounds, been knocked around/Felt my share of defeat/ Yet, somehow I’ve always managed to get back on my feet."
This summer, Street Dogs are playing on Vans Warped Tour and the new songs seem to be a hit with fickle punk rock kids.
"We’ve been playing new songs like ‘Mean Fist,’ ‘Kevin J. O’Toole’ and ‘Two Angry Kids’ so far," McColgan said. "(The reaction) has been very, very positive. The kids are right into them."