Album Review
Street Dogs - Fading American Dream Album Cover

Street Dogs - Fading American Dream

Reviewed by
Street Dogs - Fading American Dream
Release Date: October 24, 2006
Record Label: DRT Entertainment/Brass Tacks

Fading American Dream is, to borrow one of the band’s choruses, a battle cry for the common people. Frontman Mike McColgan has had quite an illustrious career, and Street Dogs is an outlet for him to speak his mind. From his time in the Army during Desert Storm to his three years in Boston punk rock outfit Dropkick Murphys to his career as a member of the Boston Fire Department through today, McColgan has always been a supporter of the “little guy.” He left the fire department to concentrate on Street Dogs, but his toughness shines through on the edgy, infectious aural blast known as Fading American Dream, the band’s third full-length.

Raucous guitar/bass combinations highlight much the disc as ample support for McColgan’s single range vocals. He may not hit any high notes, but you will be hard-pressed to find an album with more raw emotion than Fading American Dream. Fast-paced with simply memorized lyrics, “No Without a Purpose” is the type of hard-hitting, message-bearing punk track that I have been waiting all year for. With a definite political slant, it will still get a crowd riled up and start the crowd surfing full-bore. “Never give up, never give up, never walk away, always fight it!” demands McColgan in a tone reminiscent of some of Tim Armstrong’s more anti-establishment music. There is something about the lyrics in “Tobe’s Got a Drinking Problem” that is sure to evoke a smile. That said, a harmonica intro leads into one of the best story-based songs on the album. Street Dogs make no apologies; they are here to have fun and teach you a thing or two. The battle lines have been drawn. You’re either with them or against them.

With the battle lines drawn, the harmonica-fueled “Shards of Life” brings the psychological impact of war on the soldiers’ families and friends home to the listeners. There is a lot of bitterness on McColgan’s part, and that is part of what makes songs on this CD so emotional. They’re not just Irish-themed drinking songs or a bunch of shouting about how much our president sucks. He has been there and has been through everything he’s singing about. A devastating drum intro opens “Rights To Your Soul,” which soon evolves into a breakneck sing-along chorus, much like the album’s title track does. However, the emotional “Final Transmission” may sell you on the album. The rhyme structure of the song is a bit awkward, but lyrically it tells a heart-wrenching story about a teenage soldier who has headed off to war and is killed. “Parris Island was plain hell on earth, got Gunny yelling at him, better prove your worth. Moved onto Baghdad ‘bout six months on, caught an IED today, now he is gone.” Each time through, “Final Transmission” is guaranteed to give you chills, with McColgan’s matter-of-fact lyrics and the serene acoustic guitar throughout.

Fading American Dream has a twofold purpose. You can appreciate one or the other easily enough, but truly to understand how much feeling went into this masterful CD, you need to grasp both fully. McColgan’s pro-troops, anti-war sentiments ring true the whole time, and in a time of war, this is something we can all empathize with. The flip side is the upbeat cry in favor of the common man. Fading American Dream appeals to both sides of the political aisle and fans all over the musical spectrum. October 24th will be a day for the common people; mark my words.

Buy Street Dogs' Fading American Dream on iTunes

Track List01.Common People
02. No Without a Purpose
03. Fatty
04. Decency Police
05. There Is Power in a Union
06. Tobe’s Got a Drinking Problem
07. Shards of Life
08. Sell Your Lies
09. Rights to Your Soul
10. Hard Luck Kid
11. Fading American Dream
12. Final Transmission
13. Katie Bar the Door
Listen to Street DogsAP.net Profile | Myspace | Official Website
This review is a user submitted review from Tony Pascarella. You can see all of Tony Pascarella's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 25
05:53 AM on 10/04/06
Brandon Allin
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Great review, Tony.
07:52 AM on 10/04/06
look at my cliche avatar
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love_american_style's Avatar
i'm gonna go see these guys in december....they put on a good live show.
09:20 AM on 10/04/06
see the benefits.
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Snails's Avatar
Good review Tony.
09:37 AM on 10/04/06
Bow down to Xenu
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PunkENG's Avatar
Can't wait to get this album. I just did an email interview with Mike McColgan. They put on an amazing show and are much better than DKM.
09:50 AM on 10/04/06
Love me no more...
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primadonaxx's Avatar
I love Street Dogs! I still remember how I learned about them... My AMP-Street Punk Cd.... Still hangs on my wall.. Anyways... This CD totally kicks ass! I love it!

10:06 AM on 10/04/06
Tony Pascarella
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Tony Pascarella's Avatar
I'm glad to hear so many people are into this CD.
10:16 AM on 10/04/06
True Punk Fan
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There playing here this weekend. Too bad I'm not gonna be here...I'd like to see them.
10:19 AM on 10/04/06
The World Won't Listen.
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GoWaitInTheCar's Avatar

I'll review this for Band Battles, eventually. Thanks for recommending it to me, my friend.
10:45 AM on 10/04/06
Registered User
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suburbanblues's Avatar
the songs I've heard so far sound very inferior to "back to the world" that was a good album. Still yet to be convinced.

12:01 PM on 10/04/06
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ilovebsb's Avatar
Can't wait to get this album. I just did an email interview with Mike McColgan. They put on an amazing show and are much better than DKM.

No way!!! Dropkick murphys own them when it comes to either band playing live .
12:28 PM on 10/04/06
Scott Weber
Live Like a Legend
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Scott Weber's Avatar
There have been soooo many 90% + reviews here recently, holy shit.
12:33 PM on 10/04/06
Steve Henderson
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Steve Henderson's Avatar
Excellent review, Tony...good shit dude.
01:22 PM on 10/04/06
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straylightkid's Avatar
wow. another 90...
01:24 PM on 10/04/06
Steve Henderson
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Steve Henderson's Avatar
Ugh...I did not know we were supposed to grade on a bell curve. Can it with the score comments, people. That's why a review has WORDS.

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