Street Dogs - Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing
Street Dogs are somewhat the unsung heroes of the punk scene because they never received much recognition even though their integrity was never questioned. I always wondered if most people think of them just as "the band of the original Dropkick Murphys singer" but if so, why nobody thinks that way about Streetlight Manifesto?
Anyway, "Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing" is the band's sixth album and much like the recent The Mighty Mighty BossTones' record, it was inspired by the current political climate in the USA. In the meantime, after the release of the Self-titled album from 2010, the former Dropkick Murphys frontman Mike McClogan brought new faces in the band - two new guitarists (Lenny Lashley and Matt Pruitt) and a drummer (Pete Sosa) and the fresh blood fitted in just about right.
In the new record the band keeps fighting social injustices and all kinds of discrimination, and at the same time takes pride in being part of the working class environment - as some may know the singer Mike McClogan is a firefighter. Literally, there is a song called "Working Class Heroes" and it sounds exactly how it is - a triumphant ode to the people who serve and try to make their society better. But in general "Stand For Somethin Or Die For Nothing" is the casual mix of Irish pub punk and the typical heartland rock feel - something one would expect from Boston natives.
The band keeps fighting social injustices and all kinds of discrimination and at the same time takes pride in being part of the working class environment - as some may know McClogan is a firefighter. "Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing." is the casual mix of Irish pub punk and the typical heartland rock feel - something one would expect from Boston natives. The little surprise here is the guest appearance of the rapper Slaine (La Coka Nostra) who's always had a rebel heart and I'm a bit over the moon about this collaboration because his rhyme flow really lights up "Angels Calling".
There are a few anthemic tracks like the eponymous opener and "Never Above You, Never Below You" that may sound a bit cliche with their slogan lyrics but this is what punk rock has been all about for many years and in times of turmoil such optimism is rare. "The Round-Up" and "The Comeback Zone" are other really memorable tracks with catchy choruses (think The Bouncing Souls) while the galloping "The Other Ones" could be on any Rancid record. On the opposite is "Mary On Believer Street" with bluesy guitar licks over big arena rock sound. It's a bit bizarre but I love the outcome as Mike's singing makes it bittersweet.
How punk can a working-class punk band get? Well, this album can answer that question. There isn't anything over the top or unheard. Well, Street Dogs kept it real and stayed true to genre's roots so you cannot dislike honesty and directness. Sometimes album titles & cover arts have hidden meanings, philosophical messages, conceptual ideas etc. but this one comes just as it is - stand for something or die for nothing! Feeling the punk yet?