In the past, Graef’s respectful, inventive take on classic G-funk and house gained him a legion of fans, but often his cuts felt like extended jams, straying from the realms of improvisation into noodling territory. ‘Rivers Of The Red Planet’ certainly contained some top-notch tracks but at times Graef’s jazz-like curiosity with song structure appeared to inhibit his compositions rather than help them to excel.
This is exactly why ‘Dog’ is such an enjoyable listen. The record is devoid of any vocals, at least in the traditional sense – the band’s studio chat patters away between tracks, which gives the album the air of a live session in flow. The tracks are tight, as is the band’s interplay and extended passages of guitar work avoid self-indulgent riffing. The Max Graef Band has created an atmospheric LP that will most likely satisfy new and old fans alike. ‘Dog’ may not invite repeat listens in the average listener, but it will give an accurate portrait of a group of involved and talented musicians in full artistic flow.