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Album Review

Street Dogs, 'S/T'

August 30, 2010

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Picking up on Tip O’Neill’s advice about politics, Boston’s Street Dogs succeed by making all punk local. On the new self-titled album, Street Dogs don’t just talk punk rock’s camaraderie, but instead show it by bringing you down into the beloved punk-rock dungeon of the Rat. And when singer Mike McColgan broadcasts his Dorchester pride in “Rattle and Roll,’’ the celebration of working-class heroes resonates no matter where it lands. Local scenes and people pepper the record; but Street Dogs leave home too, tackling the economic downturn witnessed in the Pacific Northwest and bypassing judge and jury in the Bernie Madoff scandal to declare “Hang ’Em High.’’ This punk-rock Swiss army knife has topical songs such as “Up the Union’’ (about easing rules for forming labor unions) fitting alongside introspective fare such as “The Shape of Other Men,’’ which reminds that surface appearances don’t always reflect the truth. And truth is the prey Street Dogs chase across this collection of 17 tunes. The band’s sound matches its broad view, with no one orthodoxy collaring Street Dogs; the hot-blast two-minute thrashers sound as good as the sing-along pub howlers. “Street Dogs’’ is both true to punk’s roots and vitally fresh. (Out tomorrow)

SCOTT McLENNAN

ESSENTIAL “The Shape of Other Men’’