I was listening to "Dose" by the Latin Playboys while driving home from Ensenada, Mexico to Los Angeles with the windows down and the speakers blasting. And that is best way to listen to the Latin Playboys.
I already had a positive attitude towards this CD because I am a big fan of East L.A.'s Los Lobos. Lobos mainstays David Hidalgo and Louie Perez hooked up with Tchad Blake and producer Mitchell Froom to create an incredibly rustic garage sound. All the songs on this album make for collection that is smoothed out, lowrider-grooved, Latino rhythm-influenced, and ready for backyard party memories. Their creativity has continued to grow and their experience of two decades of musical experience proves it.
The first song is a static-filled instrumental that warns of what is about to possess you. Throughout the CD, the Latin Playboys show that they still can play with the best with an incredible number of instruments. The heavy guitar is flowing over the trash can drum bang. I really enjoyed the different sounds of this cut and it made me look forward to the next song.
What is a blues song if it is not about a girl? This smooth tune, Cuca's Blues, is a just sit back and vibe-to song that makes you feel the frustration in his voice.
Track number 3 is called Ironsides and is a quick trip back to David and Louie's Mexican roots. I say quick because the song is not long but it makes everyone recall the one car in everyone's family that they were embarrassed of.
Nubian Priestess begins with an eerie sound that fits the magical song like a glove. I can only imagine a priestess dancing at night around a big bright fire, chanting black magic.
Take a Dose of knowledge for the Latin Playboys. This song is about when we die, it does not matter how much money you have or what color you are, you still end up six feet under. "When you die and they take you and they put you in the ground, No matter who or what you are - you end up looking brown." The background music is played backwards to add mystery to the already powerful song.
Let me take on a trip, a Latin Trip. "Don't go figure, it's not about hip, You won't get it, it's a Latin trip." Have you ever been asked, "Why do you where your pants like that, why do you drive your car so low, or like that kind of music?" Well, next time tell them "it's a 'Latin Trip.'"
We have all seen them, the Paletero. This song is dedicated to those who quench our thirst on those hot summer days. Who else would have thought to do a song about them? Creative things are all around us and they prove to us to just open our eyes and look around you.
All the songs were written by Hidalgo and Perez and continue to bring their best of this heart and soul music. Dose is an album that will make you get up and move while it makes you sit down and think. Who else can do this but the Latin Playboys? Purchase this CD not because they are from East Los but because they have continued to showcase their lyrical talent as well as the acoustic/electic sounds.