red lights


Funky hip-hop little
more than a guilty pleasure

Dog Men Poets - Dog Men Poets
2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: July 31, 2005
Frank Black

Review by Tony Bonyata

By lifting Miles Davis' term "Birth of the Cool" for the title of their full-length debut, Dog Men Poets have some pretty big shoes to fill right out the gate. Whereas Davis actually created a sense of cool with his tranquilized-bebop colored with broad strokes of impressionistic jazz instrumentation, this San Antonio, TX quintet takes well-known elements of funk, hip-hop and acoustic rock to create an energetic, although all-too familiar, stewpot of musical styles originally honed by artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jamiroquai and Beck.
Led by guitarist / vocalist Matt Barker and vocalist / keyboardist Brouillet, the band mixes up high energy Chili Peppers styled rap/funk on the spastic track "Hold On," while they explore the infectious rhythms of the Caribbean over smooth harmonies and a hip-hop vocal delivery on "Pretty Lady."  
On a sheer energy level it works at times, but these two white Texas boys also interject hip-hop prose (apparently to show their street cred), tired studio banter in between tracks, as well as a few numbers that seem to confuse even themselves; which ultimately cuts the power supply to their party.
While hard to take too seriously (and far from "cooler than cool," as their song of the same name would suggest) Dog Men Poets still possess enough energetic spirit to attract fans of Lou Bega's "Little Bit Of Mambo" and Baha Men's "Who Let The Dogs Out."  And like those two smash hits, this music, at best, can be filed under "G" (for "Guilty Pleasure").

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