Vinyl Vlog 087

Sunday, 28 June 2015

A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the untitled Street Dogs/Noi!SE 10” split record.

There has never been a point in music history when two bands issuing a split release together hasn’t been a gamble. The nature of the format is competitive by nature; both bands are in a position where they have to try and outshine the other, and that someone is going to come in second is guaranteed; whether it’s by an inch or a mile is irrelevant. That said, why any bands elect to gamble this way is anyone’s guess, but the reason why fans get a kick out of these releases is simple: whether it’s NOFX and Rancid or Alexisonfire and Moneen playing together or any other pair of bands, it’s always fun to see who comes out on top.

If one subscribes to the above idea that a competitive spirit is a good reason why two bands would do a split release, there’s no question that the untitled split 10” released by Street Dogs and NOi!SE works very well; competition clearly brings out the best in both bands here.

On the A-side, Street Dogs come out eunning to get a big notice quick with “We’re Still Here,” one of the songs recorded specifically for this release. There, while it could be contended that the band’s just playing it safe and not pushing any boundaries (it’s Bostonian street punk as singer Mike McColgan has battered it out since back when he was in Dropkick Murphys), the song shines because the band really hasn’t recorded anything as good as this in almost ten years; here, guitarists Matt Pruitt and Lanny Lashley (a.k.a. the new blood in the band) bounce out a good, vintage street punk run through which keeps it simple but can really strike a nostalgic chord with listeners because the tempo and progression are just right to recall some of the golden years of street/pop-punk (think Rancid and the Murphys and you’re on the right track). It’s rough around the eges but soft and melodic at its center which will get a few sweet sighs – even if listeners itch to get in the pit when they hear it live. The side loses some steam after that thanks to an ill-advised cover of Steve Earle’s “Johnny Come Lately” (which just makes the band sound old because lines like “We ain’t going home ’til we’ve done what’s right/ We’re gonna drink Camden Town dry tonight” haven’t aged well, nor has Earle’s 30-year-old flag waving), but regains some ground with “First Cut” which leaves listeners with images of the band surviving against the odds to close the side.


The Street Dogs/NOi!SE split 10” is out now. Buy it here, directly from Pirates Press Records.

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