Street Dogs State of Grace

When Street Dogs put out their debut a few years back, it was easy to drop comparisons to the members’ former bands. But with the release of their fourth studio album, any point in comparing them has been rendered moot. With a strong working class ethic, a solid nod to UK acts like Stiff Little Fingers or the UK Subs, and Mike McColgan’s familiar growl, Street Dogs prove they’ve long since moved out of the shadows. State of Grace is bombastic and sincere, guitars boom like London Calling-era Clash on tracks like "The General’s Boombox” before turning to a folk rock approach on "Elizabeth.” Songs like "Two Angry Kids” and "Free” show McColgan’s lyrics at their most intimate and nostalgic, while the music channels the best parts of Springsteen, the Clash and the members’ former units. It’s difficult to point to any song as a weak moment, as this record moves from beginning to end like good albums should. Each song builds on the momentum created by the one before it to create a full picture, a whole that couldn’t exist without its individual parts. (Hellcat)