Boston's punk quintet Street Dogs makes music that's fit for throwing back pints, raising sturdy fists into the air, and singing along to working-class battle-cry pub anthems. Founded by vocalist Mike McColgan (an ex-firefighter, former lead singer of Dropkick Murphys, and Gulf War vet), the band carries a stomp-and-mosh ska-punk debauchery style similar to other seasoned artists like Rancid, Flogging Molly, and Bad Religion. Saturated with loads of Irish and Bostonian pride, the group's Celtic-minded songs usually address politics and society. The recent LP, State of Grace, the band's fourth, tackles topics like wayward junkies, war protests, kids and guns, rebellion, and ordinary struggles while paying homage to the deceased — specifically McColgan's uncle, grandmother, and idol Joe Strummer, lead singer for the Clash. In addition to the expected rowdy punk noises, Street Dogs incorporate Irish folk tunes, bagpipes, and acoustic guitars into their recordings. On one of the more subdued songs, "Free," McColgan sings words of inspiration: "Our music is a shelter where we know we're not alone. We sing the words of our favorite songs. They bring us home." More than anything, Street Dogs deliver boisterous songs that encourage people to think and, at the very least, get listeners to toast and shout in unison things like "Ahoy! Ahoy!"
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