Eamon McGrath Wild Dogs

"There’s a fist in the air and a whiskey/and the sidewalk’s all covered in spit.” This line oozes through the title track of Eamon McGrath’s album, summing up everything the Edmonton-based musician stands for. He’s a young punk rocker trapped in the mind of a middle-aged folk guru, or so his record seems to suggest. It’s loud and slurs like a stumbling, smelly bar fool yet somehow it pins you to your seat and dares you to listen longer. "Pax Romana” is a genuine requiem for the world, the people in it and everything in between. But then there’s "Wrapped In Books,” which uses half-buried vocals and slow-motion instrumentals to halt time. It doesn’t seem like Wild Dogs should be coming from such a young gun, but it proves that you can hammer out a rugged, heartfelt and mature album no matter your age. (Champion City)