The thought of "jazz-funk" and "jamming" may have some scurrying away faster than a thumb can thwack out a slap-bass solo, but this album swings, with every track squeezed into a few minutes and performed by a stellar band. There's a real intuition between the players, as heard on the title track, when they settle into a strutting groove following Graef's cocksure bass. Kickflip Mike's drumming is pretty unfussy for music of this ilk, and his solid 4/4 kicks could slot "CBOLX" and "Die Elektrische" into Graef's adventurous house sets. Moments like "CGI"—with its head-nodding keys, nimble bass and slippery guitar solo, provided by Graef's jazz musician father, Gerry Franke—have the spirit of '80s acid-jazz hanging over them.
But something else is hanging over Dog. Good as the album is, it doesn't add anything fresh to the '70s and '80s music that Graef and his band so slavishly imitate. And jazz-funk/rare groove enthusiasts already have a practically bottomless pile of original material from those eras to get through. It's also unlikely to convert anyone not already tuned into this sound. As you hear them "whoop!" and "hey!" in the studio on "Tangerine," it becomes clear that Dog is mostly just fun for Max and his mates.