September 16, 2010

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Street Dogs, Street Dogs
Hellcat Records, Aug. 31
It doesn’t take an English degree to parse the ideas of this Boston oi fixture, which came into being when original Dropkick Murphys frontman Mike McColgan suddenly remembered he had once dreamt of being some sort of punk-rock star and soon afterward quit his former dream job at the Boston Fire Department. Until now the band has appeared content to ride the Dropkicks’ coattails, and their 2008 LP State of Grace didn’t improve their lot; it just wasn’t as aggressive as what you’d expect from a bunch of Bruins-loving Savin Hill felons. Not this, though. Any band whose self-titled album is their chronological fifth is up to something, usually something wimpy, but here it’s quite the opposite. Bagpipes and scattered military snare-drums launch into “Rattle and Roll,” the first of a near-full deck of Ramones-ish head-busters whose lyrical ADD covers such concerns as the Employee Free Choice Act, info overload, and (their favorite subject) various Dorchester homeboys. Took ’em long enough to get this pissed off — this ain’t Agnostic Front, but it makes Green Day look like... eh, why do I bother. A — Eric W. Saeger