The first album of 2014 hits my doorstep and have to say it is a corker! For a while there last year it looked like trouble was abrewing in Street Dog town and it seemed they may be splitting up. Looking back they like just needed a break from the constant touring and as a consequence they came up with this in their spare time.
Two members of the Street Dogs, Mike McColgan and Johnny Rioux, Murder The Stouts Hugh Morrison, original Dropkick Murphy guitarist Rick Barton and a few mates came up with this album of country, gospel inspired, mostly, acoustic punk rock. I suppose you could call this as a side-project but for Johnny Rioux he’s already got this here, Rick Barton has Continental, who only just toured the UK with their country tinged punk, and Hugh Morrison, who is also playing in loads of bands, so for some this is a side-side-side-project so gotta have your doubts we’ll see them in britland anytime soon!
They’ve described it themselves as having ‘a humanitarian (non-religious) GOSPEL Americana (punk) rock sound’ and that’s as good a description as anyone could make. Vocal duties are split around the various members with Johnny Rioux particularly impressing on ‘I Saw The Light’ the albums most country song.
“I travelled far from sea to sea, to see if I could find my heart of gold. And when I found the one that I loved, I fucked it up and now I’m all alone”
Topics seem to revolve around the struggle of the American everyman and the politics are a lot more subdued than previously but still ramped up higher than 99% of most American bands. It all seems a bit personal and autobiographical as on Mike McColgan’s ‘It Stay’s With Me’
“Remember cold Tuttle Street days, just to run down Grampian Way. Dreamers sprung loose by Catholic cages, come take a walk with me, I’ll read my pages”
There’s plenty of touches of celtic-punk here but the various members are to be congratulated on making a superb album containing so many disparate strands of music and yet marrying them together to make something pretty much unique as well as perfect!
Out on Pirate Press Records
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