Goddamn I love good music and even better, good, really good, soulful punk rock. To hell with pop punk and all that hollow nonsense, it holds nothing for me. Stand for Something or Die for Nothing is an old school, Doc Marten to the chin, punk rock, that we desperately need in 2018 when this country, OUR country, has been hijacked by politicians waging a war of (dis)information and a war of culture with us, “we the people,” stuck in the middle, and weaponized to fight their bullshit propaganda wars. And the Street Dogs recognize this.
Stand for Something or Die for Nothing is a brilliant statement, check that, a razor sharp testament to being sick and tired of dealing with American politics and the clowns calling the shots and having the guts to speak out against it. I keep waiting for that bum track to throw me off and convince me the record sucks, and it usually happens right around track three, and instead the Street Dogs just keep hitting you with honesty, integrity and so much heart and soul I’m finally beginning to feel good again about the world around me. It feels refreshing that I’m not alone with my anger at American politics and an excitement that punk rock is alive and well in America with a band of this quality and stature addressing this. This record is a shot in the arm when we need it most and this angry, disenchanted voice is needed NOW. We need music fans as well as the youth of America to listen AND buy into the message of this record that lies within these songs.
Stand for Something or Die for Nothing immediately brings to mind the face and sound of bands like Fuel (the punk band), Social Distortion and Boston’s Dropkick Murphys, that stand for and give voice to blue collar America. Every song on this record is a fiercely honest, defiantly independent snapshot of anger and critique of where we are as both a country and a people in 2018. The Street Dogs are pissed, they’re not happy, and it’s reflected in their music here.
What I don’t want to do is talk about individual tracks because every song on this record tells a particular story and it all gels together to paint a bigger picture of what the boys are trying to convey here – a middle finger to every bastard in DC who has manipulated us, lied to us, attempted to subjugate the good people of this country through fear tactics, attempted to turn us against each other through a myriad of lies fed to us through the media, pop culture, sports culture, and by corrupting the American experience that we are all a part of. That’s what this record is about. The Street Dogs have a message for us. Wake the fuck up, stop buying into the lies and start thinking for ourselves again. “They say our country is fading fast / but the American worker is built to last…We are broken / our pockets are empty / every penny I make is for Uncle Sam…” Those lyrics come from “Working Class Heroes” and they resonate in today’s world, they strike a note with all of us. Why? Because that is US.
Stand for Something or Die for Nothing is the best punk record of the year, hands down. And I dig the message that the Street Dogs have. It struck a chord with me because I feel like they do every day. And thank god we still have brutally honest and fearless artists in this country who aren’t afraid to speak the truth and reach out to people, especially our nation’s youth, through solid, hard hitting punk rock. You owe it to yourself to buy and LISTEN to this record. The music is solid, the best melodic punk I’ve heard in a long time. But it’s lyrics, the songs, and the message? That’s worth the twice price of this record. Boston be proud! Rock be proud! Punk just came back to life in a big, real way…