Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Street Dogs ... Wrecking the Halls For Ten Years On

Punk is still alive and well in Boston. 2015 saw the tenth annual Wreck the Halls held this year at Allston’s Brighton Music Hall. For the first time, the Street Dogs played full albums for each show. Savin Hill, Back to the World, Fading American Dream were heard track by track, along with some fan favorites like Tobe's Got a Drinking Problem and Not Without a Purpose, along with band favorites by The Clash on December 18th, 19th, and 20th. 
Photo credit John Cetrino 2015
 With Mike McColgan on lead vocals, Johnny Rioux on bass, Matt Pruitt on lead guitar, and Lenny Lashley on rhythm guitar, the current lineup of the 12 year old band was honored on December 18th by Boston Mayor, Marty Walsh, who proclaimed the day Street Dogs Day in Boston. 

With the Boston Police Department Pipes and Drums kicking off Friday night, it was full on pogo time with moshing (co-ed), stage diving, and lots of oi's being thrown about. What was very evident, was how the band, who took a brief hiatus in 2012, is still growing in their fan base. Why? It has to do with their roots. 
Boston is a proud city, understatement of the century. Street Dogs is a band that supports not only Boston, but its workers, unions, and military. Their fan base are kids, adults, Boston born and bred Sox and Celtic fans, who work tirelessly for the City they love. It's a perfect match.
If you're not into punk so much, but still dig an album that Mick Jones and Joe Strummer could have written the lyrics for, check out FM 359, a side project of SD members McColgan, Rioux, and Sosa along with Rick Barton.They released Truth, Love and Liberty in January 2014 and according to Michael Rampa of Octane Magazine:
 Some are calling it a “humanitarian (non-religious) gospel Americana (punk) rock record”, While the influences are apparent , the resulting sound is unique and defies being categorized in any single genre. Whatever its label, this band has the potential to bring an unconventional sound into the mainstream  the way Mumford and Sons turned folk into chart gold. 
Truth, Love and Liberty has the punk attitude and Boston pride, but it is stripped down to the barest, yet fullest of sound. Give the  album a whirl, especially if you like a Celtic or Mumford and Sons sound.

Hopefully 2016 will give us some more touring and more tunes for the Street Dogs to follow up on their Record Day release of Street Dogs Crooked Drunken Sons. Heavy material, but definitely deserved of an audience. There are politics to discuss, unions to defend, and our heroes in uniform that need our support. This is the band to put lyrics to the issues and strike a chord (literally) with some of their listeners. Street Dogs write songs that matter. And Street Dogs write songs you should listen to.

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