Published Dec 09, 2015Berliner Max Graef was responsible for one of the better albums released in 2014, an instrumental hip-hop and house hybrid called Rivers of the Red Planet. He now returns leading the Max Graef Band, a five-man instrumental funk outfit. Dog, their first release, finds Graef laying down funky bass lines with an appealing swagger; unfortunately, his band mates add little of interest to complete the sound.
This is essentially a jam band; a press release says the project arose out of a desire to just team up and "see what happens," and it sounds like it. The repetitiveness of the sequences, the directionless keyboard noodling, and the imprecise rhythm work suggest that this record was made quickly.
That being said, this project has promise; there are moments when the group has clearly taken the time to craft their sound instead of hesitantly deploying obvious riffs and then failing to develop them. A little more effort would likely have yielded a great record from this group, but as it is, what we have is an album that was probably very fun to make, but not nearly as fun to listen to. (Money $ex Records)