Did you know that last night, in Louisville, it rained beer, thundered fist pumps and windows were rattled by a mighty punk rock gust? You probably didn’t. Do you know how I know that you didn’t? Because Street Dogs (a band I hadn’t heard of until last night) blew the proverbial shingles off Uncle Pleasant’s with a glorious set of classic, punk-rock anthems. In one of the most flagrant cases of musical injustice I’ve seen lately, Street Dogs played to a maybe half-full audience. If you’re reading this, you probably missed the show.
So Street Dogs rock.
Mike Colgan, formerly of Dropkick Murphys, propels this band to anonymous greatness. He is the perfect front-man for these Bostonians, missing front tooth and all. He’s passionate and sincere without being condescending or bitter (traps modern punk bands fall into). This band does not simply appreciate their fans; it adores them.
Being wholly alien to their catalogue, songs like “Stand Up” and “Two Angry Kids” somehow carried a sense of familiarity. I found myself singing along to “Not Without a Purpose (Not Without a Fight)” and “Tobe’s Got a Drinking Problem.” Lyrically, Colgan raises up our heroes but doesn’t tear down their leaders. And when the band paid tribute to Joey Ramone and Joe Strummer from the stage, everyone’s passion became a palpable force in the room.
Asher, another Boston-based band, fell into all of the punk rock clichés. Think Rise Against meets Screeching Weasel. The band looked and sounded like a caricature of themselves – sleeve tattoos, 12-inch mohawks, and solid black clothing. It was biting, angry and wholly indistinguishable. But at least they were loud.
Locals Nowhere Fast are feedback-laden smooth punk. Seth Robinson’s distinctive voice oozes passion and brazen sincerity, while the rest of the band pounds out the songs with concussive prudence. Robinson’s guitar circles each song with unique and compelling riffs, so the music isn’t centered on a succession of rapid-fire power chords. You should see this band every weekend. —Brent Owen