Monday, August 26, 2013

Cowboi! up with Johnny Rioux's (Street Dogs, Ex-Bruisers) new album!

When Johnny Rioux of the Street Dogs announced that he would be starting a new side project last winter, I knew that not only I would enjoy it but would fully back it.  I am a huge Street Dogs fan but when I heard Johnny would be taking Oi! classics and mixing them to a country and rockabilly feel, I was more than intrigued.  Rioux did not go it alone as he was accompanied by Jeff Morris (The Bruisers and Death and Taxes) and the current drummer of the Street Dogs, Pete Sosa ( also in Roger Miret and the Disasters).  With three, it proved to be a perfect line up!

As the saying goes, less is more and that proves to be so on this record between the range of sounds the trio delivered.  The ten track record opens with the Cock Sparrer classic, "Working" with a perfect southern guitar flair to it by Jeff Morris .  The fantastic thing with Jeff is that every project he has been involved in, he constantly proves that he is one of the best guitar players in the scene yet constantly overlooked!  Even when Jeff was a Bruiser, his guitar playing ability and talent shined through even with his experience in Death and Taxes and the Unloved.  On this record, the trio performed "Societies Fools" by the Bruisers (a personal favorite) where Johnny plays an impeccable upright bass intro! Other upbeat anthems are given 110% by the boys with, "Voice Of A Generation" and "Someone Is Gonna Die Tonight" by Blitz which are superbly upbeat.  Pete Sosa completes the line up with hitting the snare and symbols with perfect timing which easily gives off that western and rockabilly edge!

Of course this record could not go released without a local band and that band being Blood For Blood.  The last track is Johnny Rioux's version of "Evil In The Brain" which is a stripped down, slow, and dark track that can relate to the inner demons and struggles inside of us.  This is easily my favorite track because Johnny makes this version of the song flow absolutely perfectly.  The tone of the acoustic guitar matches up perfectly with the lyrical content originally written by Rob Lind.  This is a perfect way to end a great record with an introspective touch that forces the listener recognize the demons inside and how it is easily a struggle for all of us to come to grips and face them no matter who you are!   

Other classic and sing along covers include Agnostic Front's skinhead anthem, "Crucified", "If The Kid's Are United" by Sham 69, and "Oi! Oi! Oi!" by Cockney Rejects!  Lastly, you can't forget the 4 Skins, "A.C.A.B." What I can really appreciate about this release is that it is  the most original project I have seen done.  Many musicians will often start a new project that is either substandard or may not have a new attack plan to it or worse, will "do it for the sake of doing it!" The amazing thing that Johnny Rioux and company did here was that they took classic songs and gave them a new sound and it worked absolutely beautifully.  I am not afraid to say that this may be the new definition of the term, "punk rock" because it is more original than what is coming out today.  The three of them took a chance with full confidence and tried something new and succeeded!  I honestly think one day, Johnny, Jeff, and Pete should do a U.S. mini tour.  They are onto something right here! 

With all of that being said, if you are ready to trade in your Doc Martens for a pair of cowboy boots, your scally cap for a cowboy hat, and your half ass beer for some great bourbon, all for 10 tracks out of your night, I suggest you listen to this record!  If you enjoy what real country is such as Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and the like, I can ensure you this record will be in your liking. If you are looking for something on the range of Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, or some pop country phenomenon, go elsewhere because this will not be for you!   Go Cowboi! up!

Artist Information and Associated Projects:
Johnny Rioux Cowboi! Facebook Page
Street Dogs Offical Facebook Page

Record Label Information:
RandaleShop Randale Records Facebook
Randale Records Facebook
Randale Records Official Website- Buy the CD, or LP here!!!


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