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State of Grace

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Album Review

The Street Dogs' last album, 2006's Fading American Dream, was a rabid indictment of the Bush regime, filled with fire and fury. But having served up polemics on virtually every political touchstone possible, the band decided to sit down and take stock on its next set, State of Grace. Looking back at the past and forward toward the future, the Dogs deliver their most intimate album to date. Love and respect are offered to those now gone, with a punk paean for Michael McColgan's uncle, "Kevin J. O'Toole," and an homage in Irish folk style for his adored grandmother, "Elizabeth." Musical inspirations are also given their due, with an excellent reworking of the Skids' "Into the Valley" and the band's personal hero Joe Strummer paid an apt Clash-soaked tribute. On that latter song, McColgan declares, "You lit a fire in us and we play on in your trust." And the Dogs do him honor with a song like "San Patricios," an Irish-American riposte to "Spanish Bombs." A proto-International Brigade, the San Patricios fought for the losing side during the Mexican-American war. Their bravery at the battle of Churubuco was the stuff of legend; the fate of the battalion's survivors — tried, flogged, branded, and hung by the U.S. Army, remains a dark stain on this country's reputation. The song's message, though, is one of unity over tribalism, a theme revisited on the hard-rocking "Rebel Song." But this will have to be a bloodless revolution, for the band's anti-violence stance is clear on the eloquent, angry "Guns," the most infectious song on a set stuffed with singalong anthems. In a confusing world we're all searching for clarity and a bit of grace, as are the bandmembers on the title track and "Free," songs whose intimacy brings the revolution home. A decided departure for the band, but a highly successful one, and with the music as tough as ever, the Dogs roam new streets with abandon.

Customer Reviews

Another Masterpiece!!!!

Street dogs are one of the greatest live bands you will ever see. They sing from the heart and really connect with their fans. This is a true punk album from begining until end. Every cd they have put out has been amazing and this one continues the tradition. The Street Dogs keep the punk flame burning for this 41 year old punker. Another masterpiece from the boys frpm Boston!!! PS Go Celtics!!!!

Another classic from a great band

I saw these guys before I shipped out here to Iraq again, and it was probably the best way to leave the states. Incredibly heartfelt, and meaningful band. This album is probably their most personal, but it's also one of their best. If you haven't heard Street Dogs before, I recommend you start off with Fading American Dream or Back To The World (must buy albums), then get this one. These guys are real people with real heart. Favorite tracks are, Mean Fist, Rebel Song, Two Angry Kids, State of Grace, Guns, aw hell, the whole damn album. You like street rock? Get this.

Irish Roots - punk rock - folk and Irish ballad components

This is an amazing album by a phenomenal group of musicians. Street Dogs dish out punk old-school style, while adding the Irish south Boston influence, a la Dropkick Murphys. They are a celebration in this genre, seen in other bands like Flogging Molly. This is outside of the fact that one could not hope to meet a cooler, more down-to-earth group of fellas. They are gracious, to a fault, with their fans, spending hours on end, just hanging out and taking pics and signing autographs. Mike McColgan, the singer, literally stopped the show when a fan was being escorted out of the venue, quite recently (this tour, in fact), after being stopped from stage diving. He followed them out into the crowd, calling at them from the microphone. McColgan did not start up again until management agreed to let the guy come back. That's rare, indeed! Their music backs this attitude up 157%!


Formed: 2002 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Boston, Massachusetts is a uniquely divided city, consisting not of amorphously defined neighborhoods like the ones that make up Manhattan, but small, semi-autonomous villages with names like Allston, Dorchester, Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain. Similarly, Boston's music scene has traditionally been equally insular, with little communication between the punk, indie rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, and Celtic scenes. One of the first bands to overlap some of these fiefdoms was the ska-punk-metal hybrid the...
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