State of Grace – State of Grace

(c) 2008 Hellcat Records
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Three cheers for the Street Dogs my friends, back again with a brand new record. The disc will be out soon on none other than Hellcat Records. It all seems very full circle, what with Hellcat being the home of the Dropkick Murphy’s. (for those of you outside the know, Street Dogs’ Mike McColgan is the former frontman of those very same Dropkick Murphy’s) Since their forming in 2002, Murphy’s connection aside, Street Dogs have come into their own.

With the lineup currently cemented as Mike McColgan on Vox, John Rioux (of Bruisers fame) on Bass, Marcus Hollar and Tobe Bean III splitting guitar duties and Paul Rucker on drums the collective Street Dogs deliver to you a State of Grace. 11 punk rock songs with a distinctive Boston flair. The songs are about life. The lyrics have depth. It’s very existence offers promise. After the slew of post nu-metal mallrat pablum that has disgraced the the name of music lately, it is great to hear a disc that not only is true to form punk rock, but also has some meaning. It is very easy to discern when a band believes in what they do or if they are just going through the motions. Street Dogs’ State of Grace is very obviously the former. With a formidable foundation and diehard persistence State of Grace is the Street Dogs best effort to date.

–Jerry Actually

U.S. Bombs – We Are The Problem

(c) 2006 Sailor's Grave Records
Rating: ★★★★☆

The U.S. Bombs are back with a new CD — fronted per usual by the venerable Duane Peters. Peter's is arguably one of the hardest working guys in punk rock with The skating, the shoe and clothing lines and of course the myriad of musical projects: U.S. Bombs, Die' Huns and The Duane Peters Gunfight.

"We Are The Problem" brings 15 new surprisingly diverse tracks of punk, from sing-a-long anthems like the opening title track, flanged out 50's style punk like "Just Like You" and near folksy ballads like "Guns of the West"

"We Are The Problem" shows that old punks need not fade away, but why? because they're a shit ton better than the bullshit radio baby pablum that the hot topic punks can muster today.

–Jerry Actually